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Teen dies 8 months after Near North diving accident

Published: Monday, Nov. 19, 2012 9:02 a.m. CDT

(MCT) — An 18-year-old man who dove into two feet of water near Olive Park Beach while with a group of high school friends in March has died of spine injuries from the accident, authorities said.

An autopsy Sunday determined Dakota Garcia died of cervical spine injuries from diving into the lake, according to the medical examiner’s office, which ruled the death an accident.

Garcia, of the 1700 block of North Humboldt Boulevard, was pronounced dead Saturday at 10:26 p.m. at a long-term care hospital, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

A jogger called 911 after seeing Garcia struggling in the water about 4:05 p.m. on March 6 at Ohio Street and the lake at Olive Park according to a police report.

Police said at least one of his companions waded into the water to help rescue him. He was taken in critical condition to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Chicago Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford said at the time. The victim was believed to have been paralyzed from the neck down, Langford said.

The man was with classmates from Clemente High school when he decided to go for a swim, against his friends’ advice. The water was only two feet deep where he dove in, Langford said.

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