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A Palos Park native was killed last week in a work site accident in the north suburbs.
Patrick O'Reilly, 25, was a graduate of Stagg High School and the University of Illinois, his family said. He was killed when he was struck by falling concrete when part of a wall collapsed at a demolition site Dec. 26 at Westfield Hawthorn Mall in Vernon Hills.
O'Reilly had earned a degree from U of I in agricultural and consumer economics in 2010 but, unable to find a job in his field, had been working in demolition, said his uncle William O'Reilly.
His family is "devastated" by the tragedy, the uncle said.
"He loved life," O'Reilly said. "He liked to make people laugh."
The accident occurred about 11 p.m. as a work crew was knocking down an exterior wall of a former Ruby Tuesday restaurant to make way for a new Maggiano's Little Italy.
Workers were removing an outer layer of brick when concrete pieces fell from the top of the wall and hit three workers.
Countryside Fire Protection District ambulances arrived in three minutes, and workers had already removed the debris from the victims, Deputy Chief Chuck Smith said.
Paramedics took two of the workers, including O'Reilly, to Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville.
"At this point there is no indication that this is other than a tragic accident," Vernon Hills Village Manger Michael Allison said in a press release. "Our deepest condolences and prayers go out to the family of the deceased."
The federal Occupational Health and Safety Administration was investigating the accident.
The primary contractor at the work site was P.S. Demolition, which had no history of safety violations, OSHA spokesman Scott Allen said.
The company's website describes it as fully licensed, insured and bondable, and states that it uses both hand tools and heavy equipment, but does not give its location. Federal investigators were inspecting the site Friday to determine if proper safety procedures were followed.
O'Reilly, who had been living in downtown Chicago, played soccer, basketball, baseball and track at Stagg High, his family said.
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