Monday, November 17, 2008
Investigators said that the Chicago students who drowned in the Fox River were 25 yards from shore when their boat sank. Students from North Lawndale College Prep were on the last day of an eight-day leadership retreat at Camp Algonquin when some students sneaked out of a dorm and pushed six paddle boats into the river. One, with two teens onboard, quickly sank as it took on water. A boy on the shore swam in the river to try a rescue, but he soon went under as well.
Rescue workers pulling a paddle boat out of the Fox River.The students who died were Melvin Choice III, 17; Jimmy Avant, 18; and Adrian Jones, 16. Illinois Department of Natural Resources spokeswoman Stacey Solano said Saturday that authorities will interview the trip's chaperons and 16 students who left the dorm. She said officials must still confirm that the boats sank because plugs had been pulled from their bottoms in preparation for winter.