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Coroner releases name of child who drowned near Waukegan Harbor

Photo by Lake and McHenry County Scanner.

Antony O’Conner, 14, of Waukegan, was identified Wednesday as the boy who died after being rescued from Lake Michigan near the Waukegan Harbor last week.

The Waukegan Fire Department was called around 6 p.m. Friday for a report of a person who went under the water at the Waukegan Harbor and Marina near Madison Street and Harbor Place.

Witnesses reported that the 14-year-old boy went under the water as he was trying to swim by a breakwall at the pier, Waukegan Fire Marshal Steve Lenzi said.

The Mutual Aid Box Alarm System (MABAS) was utilized and brought in fire department divers, boats and sonar tech from throughout the Lake County area to assist with the search.

Photo by Lake and McHenry County Scanner.

Lenzi said that O’Conner was with three other teens in the water at the time. The boy had not resurfaced and was found 30 minutes later by fire department divers.

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O’Conner was transported by ambulance to Vista Medical Center East in Waukegan in “extremely critical condition,” Lenzi said. The boy later died at the hospital, the Lake County Coroner’s Office said.

On Wednesday, O’Conner was publicly identified by Lake County Coroner Dr. Howard Cooper. Autopsy results confirmed the boy died as a result of drowning, Cooper said, calling it a “truly awful tragedy.”

Routine toxicology tests are pending.

“We urge everyone to stay out of the channel. It is not a safe area to swim and we certainly don’t want any more catastrophes,” Cooper added.


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