CHICAGO - The community and East Aurora School District 131 is mourning the loss of 18-year-old high school student Ivan Echevarria. According to the Chicago Fire Department, Echevarria and a friend were walking near Lake Michigan Thursday afternoon when Echevarria was swept into the lake near Diversey Harbor.
Divers searched the lake Thursday afternoon, but extreme turbulence postponed the search until Friday morning.
Echevarria was a senior at East Aurora High School. He had previously attended Simmons Middle School, where he was an honor roll student. Echevarria was the youngest of four siblings.
East Aurora High School staff member Kim Kereluik said Echevarria was a funny and friendly student who had a lot of friends.
“He had one of those personalities that attracted people,” Kereluik said. “He had that ‘it’ factor; he won people over.”
Kereluik said Echevarria was interested in working in information technology or as a mechanic. He was passionate about cars and computers. He had been part of the East Aurora Chess Club at the high school.
East Aurora High School counselor Brian Melvin had met with Echevarria a few weeks ago to talk about graduation and future goals. Echevarria had started to open up this year about his plans.
“He was a quiet kid but very popular,” Melvin said. “He was a normal high school kid who wanted to be successful. This is very sad that this happened.”
Grief counselors were on hand Thursday morning at East Aurora High School.
East Aurora School District 131 and the community extends their deepest condolences to Echevarria’s family and friends.