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updated: 6/20/2011 8:15 PM

Coroner: Man in Fox River boat crash drowned

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Early autopsy results on a 45-year-old Algonquin man found dead in the Fox River early Sunday morning revealed he died of drowning after his boat struck a pier, but toxicology reports are pending.

Police said Michael Cherbak was found in the water 10 feet from a 21-foot Cutty Cabin boat on the 10300 block of North River Road about 4:30 a.m. and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Cherbak's mother, Rusty, is trying to piece together what happened to her son, who was an avid fisherman.

"I'm wondering if there was any boat trouble," she said Monday. "He knows that river."

She said her son told her he was visiting friends that night and was on his way back home but was most likely going to sleep on the boat.

Toxicology reports are pending, but preliminary results of the autopsy performed Monday afternoon indicated the crash was an accident, according to the McHenry County coroner's office. Officials said the primary cause of death was drowning, but Cherbak did suffer other injuries.

Illinois Department of Conservation Police said witness heard a boat and then what sounded like an accident or collision about 4 a.m.

Sgt. Brett Scroggins said the boat struck a pier and likely flipped because of the angle of the collision.

Rusty Cherbak said her son was a "die-hard Cubbie fan" and the two had planned to go to a game in August.

She said her son, who lived at home with her, was an electrical engineer but was currently looking for a job. She said he was always helpful around the house, mowed the lawn and was a volunteer at Algonquin Founders Day.

Visitation will be at Wait-Ross-Allanson Funeral Home in Algonquin from 4 to 9 p.m. on Wednesday as well as a visitation in Highland, Ind., on Friday, where his funeral will be held Saturday morning.

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