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Woman In Wheel Chair And Man Fall In At Yacht Club

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UPDATED 04/11/11 9:45 a.m.

CHICAGO (WBBM)– Warmer temperatures drew crowds to the lakefront this weekend — just two days after a woman in a wheelchair and the man pushing her accidentally fell in at the Columbia Yacht Club.

Witness John Boyle saw it happen, WBBM Newsradio 780′s Michele Fiore reports.

Boyle and two other people had been waiting patiently at the top of a ramp, as they all left the Columbia Yacht Club Friday night. They saw a the man accidentally step backwards into the chilly lake as he walked down a ramp while pushing the woman in the whelchair.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780′s Michele Fiore reports


Boyle called 911.

The Chicago Police Marine Unit was nearby, and had just finished a training class on near-drownings. Police were told by doctors later, their efforts saved the woman’s life.

“When we went to the hospital later that evening, we were told that the lady was completely unresponsive, and that the efforts of the Chicago Police Department Marine Unit saved her life,” said Marine Unit Officer Mark Jaeger.

Officer Tom Fahey says in his 30 years with the department, he has seen plenty of careless mistakes along the lakefront.

“If you have a dog, keep him on the leash. Very often, the dog will just chase a leash, and there goes the dog, and there goes the owner in an effort to save the dog,” Fahey said. “So just keep a close eye on your children, keep a close eye on your animals, and have a safe and enjoyable summer.”

The woman injured in the accident remains hospitalized. The man was treated and released.

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