Hutchinson (Kan.) CC outfielder remembered for his work ethic

Sean Banks, an outfielder for the Hutchinson (Kan.) Community College baseball team, was killed last week when a grain elevator collapsed in his hometown of Russell, Kan.

Banks didn’t get into a game earlier this month during the Alpine Bank Junior College World Series for the Blue Dragons, who placed third, but figured into next season’s plans.

“He was a great athlete, extremely strong, physical, a good runner,” Hutchinson coach Kyle Crookes said Tuesday. “His work ethic was going to make him somebody who was going to do a lot for us next year, I think.”

Crookes and the entire baseball team will attend services today in Russell, which is east of Hays along Interstate 70 in central Kansas.

Banks, 19, and Max Greve, a 21-year-old student at Fort Hays State, were working at the Agco Inc., grain elevator June 24 when two grain bins collapsed. The two men were unloading a tractor-trailer load of wheat and were buried under the grain. The driver of the truck was not injured.

The accident happened about 2 p.m., but the bodies were not recovered until about 5 p.m.

Federal investigators inspected the elevator on Friday but have not determined the cause of the accident. Russell County Sheriff John Fletcher said the collapse was the result of structural failure, and there was no explosion.

“He’s too good a kid to have anything happen to,” Crookes said. “He was a special boy. Nothing about him ... he’s a 19-year-old kid. A kid who does nothing wrong, I don’t understand it.”

Banks was involved in student government at Hutchinson and was the school’s spring homecoming king.

The grain elevator is visible from Russell High School, where Banks graduated in 2009. The grain from the silo was piled onto the school parking lot as workers searched for Banks and Greve.

The Blue Dragons will honor Banks next season.

“We’ll try to figure out what the right thing is to do,” Crookes said. “The boys will do better at (deciding) that than I will. I think it’ll mean more to them when they come up with something.

“We’ll try to figure something out. We’ll be with the family (today) and try to help them through the process a little bit.”


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