By: David Jacob
QUINCY, Il– On October 2, 2015, John Wood Community College held a memorial for two of their baseball players who were tragically killed in a car accident on September 30, 2015. The memorial was held in the school’s auditorium and later moved on to the baseball field for a balloon release.
On September 30, 2015, Riley Ignacio and Edrick Rivera, as well as two other teammates were heading home from dinner. Their car was bumped and ended up in a ditch. Ignacio and Rivera were later pronounced dead.
News of the accident spread rapidly throughout the Quincy, IL area. Bobby Keller, a Quincy University baseball player said, “The news took everybody by surprise. We are all part of a baseball family and a tragedy like this brings us all together as a brotherhood.”
Three days after the accident, the JWCC community, as well as some QU students gathered at JWCC for a memorial. It was full of speakers and pictures of Ignacio and Rivera. Kevin Lenkman, a former JWCC assistant baseball coach had some words of advice for the students, “Whenever you are struggling in life, take a deep breath for a second and ask Riley and Edrick for a little extra push to get you through your struggles.”
Following the ceremony in the auditorium, everyone headed out to the baseball field. Here everybody gathered together and had a balloon releasing in memory of the fallen.
The accident occurred just north of JWCC campus on 48th street. The two other players in the car, Chandlor Rivera and Vaughn Taylor, were listed in fair condition the next day at Blessing Hospital. The Quincy Fire Department, Illinois State Police and Adams County EMS assisted at the scene.
Ignacio and Edrick Rivera were both sophomores with the JWCC baseball program. Ignacio, listed as a second baseman, was a starter as a freshman in the spring. He hit .371 with two home runs and 28 runs batted in. Rivera served as a reserve shortstop and outfielder in his first season with the Trail Blazers, hitting .200 in 29 games.
Click here for all the details pertaining to the accident.