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updated: 12/13/2011 4:49 PM

Lake in the Hills man killed after clothing trapped in machinery

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A 26-year-old Lake in the Hills man working for his family's landscaping business died Monday in what investigators say appears to be a tragic accident.

Tim Pittas suffered fatal injuries about 10:30 a.m. after his clothing became trapped in a moving ice auger on the 200 block of Sutton Road in unincorporated Hanover Township, near Streamwood, Cook County Sheriff's spokesman Frank Bilecki said.

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Pittas was unloading salt from the bed of his pickup truck as he worked for Qualityscapes Inc., the South Elgin-based business his family owns.

Pittas' father discovered his injured son, who was transported to Sherman Hospital in Elgin and pronounced dead at 11 a.m., Bilecki said.

"All indications are that it appears to be a horrific accident," Bilecki said.

A Cook County Medical Examiner's spokesman said an autopsy performed Tuesday showed Pittas died of ligature strangulation. His death was ruled an accident.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has opened an investigation into Pittas' death, standard practice when there's a fatality related to the workplace, spokesman Scott Allen said.

Visitation for Pittas will take place from 4 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 15, at Willow Funeral Home, 1415 W. Algonquin Road, Algonquin. A funeral service will take place 10:30 a.m. Friday, Dec. 16, at St. Mary Church, 10307 Dundee Road, Huntley. Interment will be in Dundee Township East Cemetery.

For information, call (847) 458-1700 or visit willowfuneralhome.com.

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