Man falls off canoe, dies after being pulled from Chicago River

CHICAGO – A 60-year-old drowned after he fell off his canoe in the north branch of the Chicago River.

According to police, around 5:10 p.m., emergency crews were called to the 3200 block of W. Bryn Maur, where a man was pulled from the water.

The man, identified by family members as Luis Avilez, was taken to Swedish Covenant Hospital initially in serious condition. He was later pronounced dead, officials added.

Family members say Avilez was canoeing with his wife then they tipped over. Avilez’s wife got the shore safely but the family says it appears that his heart gave out on him.

Jeny Zutaut witnessed the aftermath.

“When they brought him up, there was no life in him,” she said. “His face was kind of blue.”

Avilez’s daughter says her father was not wearing a life jacket when he entered the water. She warns locals about the dangers of the water, citing that one never knows what could happen.

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Chicago News