Family grieving loss of Marion man killed in coal mining accident

Tyler Rath, 20, of Marion, Illinois, was killed in an accident inside the M Class Mine in Macedonia, Illinois, Tuesday night, according to the Mine Safety and Health Administration. This is the third death at the mine in as many years, according to the MSHA.

Rath leaves behind a wife, a 2-year-old daughter and a week-old son, who are now struggling with the loss.

For Alisha Rath, losing her husband has been a nightmare.

“I’m just waiting to wake up and have all this be gone. It just doesn’t seem real,” said  Rath.

Tuesday night, Tyler was killed inside the M Class Mine in Franklin County. Coroner Marty Leffler says it took two and a half hours to get Tyler’s body out of the mine. He was pulling a trailer when it rolled over the tractor he was driving, according to the MSHA.

"He risked his life every day to support his family. He loved his job," Alisha said. "I hated it."

The accident leaves her a widow with a 2-year-old daughter, Lilly, and a 1-week-old son, Adam. She says Adam’s due date was supposed to be Wednesday, the day she spent making funeral arrangements for her husband.

"It is literally a nightmare. I wouldn’t wish this on anyone," Alisha said.

She and Tyler’s mom, Jeri Rothe, say he was a great dad, always laughing and playing with the kids.

"He is just the type of person that loved to make people laugh and have fun. He was all about goofing off," said Rothe. But no matter what, Rothe says, he was always a proud father.

And while Alisha says she’s devastated Tyler won’t be able to see their kids grow up, she knows he’ll be looking over them.

"And I know he’s going to be the best guardian angel because he was the best dad ever," Alisha said.

The family says the funeral for Tyler is being planned for 2 p.m. Sunday at the Wilson-McReynolds Funeral Home in Marion.

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