© 2022 WNIJ and WNIU
Northern Public Radio
801 N 1st St.
DeKalb, IL 60115
815-753-9000
Northern Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

Neuqua Valley community honors recent grads killed at Astroworld Festival

IMG-9458.jpg

Neuqua Valley High School held a vigil for two recent graduates who were tragically killed at the Astroworld concert festival in Houston earlier this month.

Franco Patino and Jake Jurinek were remembered as best friends who stayed close after they left Neuqua Valley High School in Naperville. Friends and family recalled their selflessness – even at the end when the Travis Scott concert erupted into chaos.

Jurinek’s father spoke about images that surfaced online showing them try to help others get to safety.

“It’s a tribute to their character,” he said. “When I found that news out, it made me feel just a little better about how this tragedy happened, that they didn't die in vain.”

Bill Eillinghaus is the head football coach at Neuqua and coached both of them for four years.

“They were everything that we wanted in a Neuqua Valley football player: disciplined, determined, selfless. I mean, just absolutely put everybody else first,” he said.

Jurinek – who was a student at Southern Illinois University Carbondale -- was known as “Big Jake” by friends. His family says it fit his infectious, larger-than-life personality. Patino attended Dayton University where he was inspired to study biomedical engineering to help his mother walk again after she was injured in a car accident,

Thousands of concertgoers at the Travis Scott concert surged toward the stage, killing 10 people and injuring dozens more. Jurinek and Patino’s families filed wrongful death lawsuits against the rapper Travis Scott and the event company Live Nation.

Franco Patino was 21 years old and Jake Jurinek was 20.

Peter joins WNIJ as a graduate of North Central College. He is a native of Sandwich, Illinois.