An Illinois man, a survivor of September 11th, died earlier this week while trying to save children after a rafting accident.
Father Dies While Saving Children
Luke Laidley, 43, was celebrating the holiday and operating a boat near Elder Beach in Winnetka, Ill., when the raft filled with children overturned around 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, ABC 7 Chicago reported.
Winnetka fire officials said a boat was pulling three or four children on a tube in the water near Centennial Park Beach when one of the kids on the tube fell in the water.
A man on the boat jumped to rescue that child, but then he went under the water for about a minute.
“Some kids fell in the water, no big deal, off a raft and it sounds like the driver that was pulling around to come pick them back up, one of the children, I think, it looked as if, was having some trouble. The other kids were saying he’s having trouble swimming,” said witness Amy McCarter. “The gentleman who running the boat jumped in the water to get the kid and meanwhile everybody sort of gathering on the beach and somebody called 911 because the kids was yelling something was down.”
People on the boat pulled Laidley back on and began CPR on him. Winnetka first responders met them at the shore, and continued CPR.
Laidley was then taken to a hospital in Evanston in serious condition, where he passed away around 4 p.m.
Witnesses said all children on board the raft were wearing life jackets at the time.
Laidley, a father of three, was also a 9/11 survivor, according to a statement his family issued to local media. Laidley was working on his second day on the job in the Twin Towers when the attack occurred, the statement said.
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