Itasca man drowns in Shorewood
By Cindy Wojdyla Cain firstname.lastname@example.org June 16, 2013 5:18PM
Updated: July 18, 2013 6:39AM
SHOREWOOD — A 24-year-old Itasca man drowned Sunday while swimming in the DuPage River with friends after leaving a bar.
Michael K. Hughes’ body was found in the DuPage River near the intersection of River and Mound roads, according to the Will County Coroner’s Office. He was pronounced dead at the scene and an autopsy is scheduled for Monday.
Forest District spokesman Bruce Hodgdon said Hughes and his friends were in the Hammel Woods preserve’s Route 59 access when they entered the river to swim. The current began to sweep the men downstream and as Hughes’ friends tried to exit the water, “They couldn’t pull him up. They didn’t have enough strength,” Hodgdon said. “They couldn’t pull him out of the water and save themselves at the same time.”
The flow of the DuPage River near the dam is “very vigorous,” Hodgdon said.
Forest Preserve District Police Lt. Tracy Phillips said the men had visited a nearby bar and decided to go swimming after the bar closed. They were diving off a dam in the river when the incident occurred. She said it is dangerous to swim near the dam.
“If you are swimming there, you will drown,” she said. “It sucks you right under and it’s 18 feet (deep).”
The incident took place around 4 a.m. when the preserve was closed, Hodgdon said. He said swimming is prohibited at all times in all forest preserves, including Hammel Woods.
“Somebody’s family got bad news today and it didn’t have to happen,” Hodgdon said.