New Lenox Community Mourns After Crash

All five young men involved in the oil pipe line crash were from the community

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Zack Orel, 25, was a firefighter paramedic with the Posen Fire Department who dreamed of the day he would save a life, according to his brother Adam Orel.

    Family and friends are morning and praying for the five men involved in the Enbridge oil pipeline Saturday in New Lenox.

    "On behalf of the village as mayor, we want to extend our condolences, our thoughts and our prayers to that family and all the families were involved,” said New Lenox Mayor Tim Baldermann.

    Early Saturday, two men in a Ford Mustang and three men in a SUV apparently drove through a chain link fence and crashed into an Enbridge Energy Company oil pipeline, igniting the crude oil inside.

    All five men were in their 20s and lived in New Lenox.

    "New Lenox is a very close knit community, and with these five young men coming from our town, there are several people of course who are going to be impacted," said Baldermann.

    He said it was one of his officers on duty who spotted the blaze cause by the crash and called the fire department before helping three of the victims to safety. Their current condition is not known at this time.

    The officer was unable to help the other two because the blaze was too dangerous. Both of those men died.

    One of the deceased, Zack Orel, 25, was a firefighter paramedic with the Posen Fire Department who dreamed of the day he would save a life, according to his brother Adam Orel.

    "He was really a role model in my life," said Adam. "Extremely nice, extremely funny and supportive in every way."

    The investigation of the crash continues and police are not releasing details to even family members.

    "We haven't been told anything," said Adam.

    Meanwhile, Enbridge Inc. said it does not know when it can restart a key segment of its oil pipeline system that was damaged in the crash, according to a report in the Chicago Tribune.