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HomeNewsWinnetka man dies after helping children in Lake Michigan

Winnetka man dies after helping children in Lake Michigan

A Winnetka man died on Tuesday afternoon after reportedly trying to help children in the water off Elder Park Beach.

Winnetka emergency units responded to the scene at 1:23 p.m. on the Fourth of July and transported him to Evanston Hospital, where the man — identified as Luke Laidley, 43, by the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office — was later pronounced dead.

According to Winnetka Fire Chief John Ripka, Laidley was part of a boating group and he jumped into the water to help children who were tubing.

“(Laidley) struggled to swim and drowned,” Ripka wrote in an email.

Laidley was pulled back onto the boat, where CPR “was started immediately” as the boat returned to shore where Winnetka firemedics took over care, Ripka said.

Laidley reportedly was in serious condition when he was brought to the hospital.

The medical examiner had not identified Laidley’s cause of death by press time.

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