Over $45,000 has been raised for the wife and two children of a masonry worker who died last weekend after falling down a chimney shaft while making repairs at an elementary school in Waukegan.
The incident happened around 10:15 a.m. Saturday at Whittier Elementary School, located at 901 North Lewis Avenue in Waukegan.
Lake County Coroner Jennifer Banek identified the victim as Brian Cotter, 47, of Oak Lawn.
Cotter was working with a crew doing tuckpointing, according to Waukegan Fire Department Deputy Chief Todd Zupec.
Cotter fell approximately 35 feet down the chimney shaft of the school building. Authorities did not say what caused the man to fall.
Firefighters removed Cotter from the base of the chimney and paramedics transported him to Vista Medical Center East in Waukegan.
Cotter was pronounced dead around 12 p.m. Saturday, Banek said. He died from multiple blunt force injuries, an autopsy confirmed.
“The world lost an incredible father, husband, son, brother, uncle, cousin, and friend to many,” Brandon Cotter said in a GoFundMe account post.
“To those who knew Brian, he was one of the hardest working and caring people you would ever meet. He would always drop whatever he was doing to help his friends and family. His passing has created an incredible void in so many lives, but none more so than with his beautiful family in which he was the primary income and sole benefits provider,” Brandon Cotter said.
Cotter leaves behind his wife along with a 14-year-old daughter and 9-year-old son.
The GoFundMe has raised $45,355 in four days with a goal of $75,000.
Waukegan School District 60 spokesman Nicholas Alajakis told the Chicago Tribune that Cotter was working for a company contracted to do exterior repair and tuckpointing.
“We would like to express our deepest condolences and prayers to the family of our Union brother Brian Cotter,” Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers District Council 1 of Illinois said in a statement.
A family member of Cotter said the man “regularly worked 70-80 hours per week in order to provide for his family.”