Friends mourn Mundelein man who drowned Sunday

Friends are remembering Matthew Rogan for his kindness, his amazing artistic ability and his hospitable nature a day after the Mundelein man died in a swimming accident.

Rogan, 21, drowned Sunday afternoon in Sylvan Lake near Mundelein despite attempts by witnesses and paramedics to resuscitate him, officials said.

Rogan was pronounced dead at Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville, Lake County Coroner Dr. Richard Keller said.

Early Monday, Keller said alcohol may have played a part in the drowning. But after an autopsy, he announced Rogan's toxicology tests came back clean and he did not have alcohol in his system.

Keller said Rogan, a Mundelein High School graduate and a member of the family that owns Rogan's Shoes, drowned because of weak swimming skills.

Paramedics from the Countryside Fire Protection District received a call of a possible drowning in the lake Sunday afternoon, Battalion Chief Brian Garrity said.

When they arrived three minutes later, Rogan, who had been swimming in the lake, was being attended to by witnesses who included two off-duty police officers and two off-duty firefighters, Garrity said.

Advanced life-support measures were begun as Rogan was prepared for transport, he said.

Neither Keller nor Countryside fire officials knew how far out Rogan had been swimming. Sylvan Lake is man-made and designed for swimming, officials said.

Sylvan Lake covers nearly 32 acres, according to the Lake County Health Department's Lakes Management Unit's most recent survey from 2007. Sylvan Lake's maximum depth is about 12 feet, with an average depth of almost 8 feet.

Rogan's longtime friends Jamie Thompson and Frank Pierri said Rogan had a zest for life, and his family's home has long been the place for close friends to come together.

"Without a doubt, he is really one of the best kids I know," said Thompson, of Vernon Hills. "The whole situation right now is pretty surreal."

He said friends and family members went to the Rogan home Sunday to be with the family.

"He was one of the nicest people I have ever met," Thompson said. "And, he was hilarious. He was incredibly goofy and just a funny guy to be around."

Pierri was in Florida when he heard the news and was rushing back to Mundelein to be with his friends.

"He was just great," Pierri said. "If I was to label him as anything, it would be an insane artist, very funny and a good skateboarder."

He said funeral arrangements were unknown as of Monday.

"His hospitality is what brought us all together," Pierri said. "He was well-liked, very funny and well-respected."

The Lake County sheriff's office is investigating the accident.

• Daily Herald Staff Writer Bob Susnjara contributed to this report.

Sylvan Lake near Mundelein is a man-made lake designed for swimming. Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer