Diver/Pond cleaner drowns in Deerfield, Illinois


deerfield_diverA Colorado man drowned Tuesday while he and co-workers cleaned the ponds on the Baxter International Inc. campus in Deerfield.

The Lake County Sheriff’s Office identified the man as a 45-year-old diver for US Aqua Vac Inc., a pond-maintenance firm Baxter had hired for its ponds’ fall cleaning. Paramedics from the fire district responded at 1:13 p.m. Tuesday for a report of a diver in distress.

They were assisted by rescue workers from surrounding fire departments.

The man was recovered from the pond shortly before 2 p.m.

A Flight for Life helicopter transported the man to Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, where he was pronounced dead.

The Lake County Sheriff’s Office, the Deerfield-Bannockburn Fire Protection District and the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office  declined to release the man’s identity Tuesday evening. Officials said his family had not yet been notified.

Emergency responders on the scene said it appeared the diver’s air hose had broken.

In a news release Tuesday evening, the Lake County Sheriff’s Office stated the drowning appeared to be an accident, but detectives continued their investigation into the man’s death.

When the diver began struggling, another US Aqua Vac employee — who was outside the water at the time — dove in and tried to help the Colorado man, according to the sheriff’s office.

The co-worker was not able to help and had to be taken to Highland Park Hospital for hypothermia treatment.

Baxter International, a pharmaceutical corporation, has a string of retention ponds around its corporate offices at the northeast corner of Lake Cook and Riverwoods roads. The dive took place at the northeast pond, located near Interstate 94 and Hawthorne Lane.

According to the Lake County Sheriff’s Office, the man’s last known address was in Fountain, Colo.



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