Small town grieves passing of two local farmers after pipeline explosion

AMBOY, Illinois-- Community members are mourning the sudden death of two local farmers.

Father and son, Rory and Ryan Miller, died in the Tuesday morning explosion near Nachusa. They were working on a nearby farm when a natural gas pipeline exploded.

"It just really hits hard we're a farming community," said family friend, Amanda Walters.

Rory was 59 years-old and Ryan was 30.

"Once it was sort of a known thing, (I) just felt sick to my stomach," said Ryan's former teacher, Cynthia Carlson.

Friends say Ryan was born and raised in Amboy, Illinois.  Childhood friends describe Ryan as charismatic.

"He was very non judgmental he was very open and genuinely cared about other people," said Ella Payne, family friend.

Ryan was the spitting image of his father both were accountants and farmers. His father Rory was described as a hardworking soul. They were truly like father like son.

"They had the same truck just different colors. They wore the same bib overalls at work and they had the same pens in their pocket," said Walters.

"He was a lot like his dad. He was a jokester...a spitting image...a little mini with a sense of humor who loved life," said Payne.

Ryan went to the University of Illinois where he met his wife and later had two daughters.

They both leave their wives and daughters behind.

"We do grieve with them and they were very loved and cherished," said Payne.

The tight knit community is at a loss for words, but hopes during times of tragedy to be the backbone for the family.

"They're definitely in many of my thoughts and prayers and I'll be thinking of them for a long time," said Carlson.