Chicago area man who drowned trying to help children had survived 9/11 attacks

Jul 7, 2023, 1:04 PM | Updated: 1:52 pm

WINNETKA, Ill. (AP) — A suburban Chicago man who drowned in Lake Michigan while trying to help children struggling in the lake was a survivor of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, his family said.

Witnesses said Luke Laidley, 43, was boating Tuesday with others on the lakefront north of Chicago when he jumped into the lake to help at least one child who had fallen off a raft being pulled by the boat.

The Winnetka man went underwater before being pulled from the lake by others on the boat. Laidley died later Tuesday at an Evanston hospital and the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office determined his manner of death was drowning, said Natalia Derevyanny, an office spokeswoman.

An obituary prepared by his family states that Laidley “risked his life for the children who were struggling when their tube flipped on Lake Michigan.”

The obituary adds that Laidley was 21 and on his second day on the job with Morgan Stanley in the World Trade Center’s South Tower when it was struck by a hijacked plane on 9/11, during the terrorist attacks that day.

The obituary says Laidley later wrote of the experience: “I encourage all of us to count our blessings each and every day. Give of yourself and expect nothing in return. And become part of something that is greater than yourself.”

Laidley was married and had three children, ages 7, 5 and 3, and lived in Winnetka, located in Chicago’s northern suburbs along Lake Michigan.

“Luke lived his life guided by his experiences and he had several that allowed him to bestow compassion, love, inspiration, and leadership to others. He lived a hero’s song,” his obituary states.

United States News

Associated Press

California man who shot two sheriff’s deputies in revenge attack convicted of attempted murder

COMPTON, Calif. (AP) — A Compton man who shot and seriously wounded two Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies in a 2020 revenge attack as they sat in a patrol car was convicted Thursday of attempted murder and could face life in prison. Deonte Lee Murray, 39, also was convicted of carjacking, robbery and other charges […]

18 minutes ago

Associated Press

Louisiana citrus farmers are seeing a mass influx of salt water that could threaten seedlings

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Commercial citrus growers have dwindled over the past few decades in south Louisiana, where farmers have had to battle hurricanes, flooding, invasive insects, freezes and drought to keep their groves alive. The latest hurdle comes from a slow-moving threat — a mass influx of salt water from the Gulf of […]

1 hour ago

Associated Press

Seattle cop who made callous remarks after Indian woman’s death has been administratively reassigned

SEATTLE (AP) — A Seattle police officer and union leader under investigation for laughing and making callous remarks about the death of a woman from India who was struck by a police SUV has been taken off patrol duty, police said. The Seattle Police Department confirmed Thursday that traffic Officer Daniel Auderer “has been administratively […]

2 hours ago

Associated Press

Truck gets wedged in tunnel between Manhattan and Brooklyn after ignoring warnings

NEW YORK (AP) — A driver who took an 18-wheel tractor-trailer inside a tunnel between Manhattan and Brooklyn on Thursday despite height restriction warnings got wedged in, officials said, causing a massive traffic jam until early afternoon when emergency personnel were able to remove it. The truck driver entered the Hugh L. Carey tunnel going […]

2 hours ago

Associated Press

Ohio football coach whose team called ‘Nazi’ during game says he was forced to resign, no ill intent

BROOKLYN, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio high school football coach says he was forced to resign by his school district and intended no harm to opposing players after he and his team repeatedly used “Nazi” as a game call in a Sept. 22 match. In an interview with The Associated Press Thursday, former Brooklyn High […]

4 hours ago

Associated Press

Former lawmaker who led Michigan marijuana board is sent to prison for bribery

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — A man formerly known as a powerful Michigan lawmaker was sentenced Thursday to nearly five years in federal prison for accepting bribes as head of a marijuana licensing board. Rick Johnson admitted accepting at least $110,000 when he led the board from 2017 to 2019. “I am a corrupt politician,” […]

5 hours ago

Sponsored Articles



Key dates for Arizona sports fans to look forward to this fall

Fall brings new beginnings in different ways for Arizona’s professional sports teams like the Cardinals and Coyotes.



Importance of AC maintenance after Arizona’s excruciating heat wave

An air conditioning unit in Phoenix is vital to living a comfortable life inside, away from triple-digit heat.

Sanderson Ford...

Sanderson Ford

Sanderson Ford congratulates D-backs’ on drive to great first half of 2023

The Arizona Diamondbacks just completed a red-hot first half of the major league season, and Sanderson Ford wants to send its congratulations to the ballclub.

Chicago area man who drowned trying to help children had survived 9/11 attacks