Man dies after being pulled from Fitchburg lake

A 59-year-old man died Saturday after being pulled out of a lake in Fitchburg the day before by a police officer, Fitchburg police said.

Police Sergeant Mark Jackson of the Fitchburg police confirmed the man died Saturday morning, but did not identify the victim or specify the cause of death.

Officer Derek Sullivan, who had helped pull the man from the lake, initially believed he was responding to a call about a man going for a leisurely, though abnormal, Friday afternoon swim in Coggshall Park’s Mirror Lake, said Fitchburg Deputy Fire Chief Kevin Curran.

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“It’s not a lake where anyone swims. They’ve got swans there,” said Curran. “It’s just a little lake where people go and walk around. It’s a diamond in the rough of Fitchburg ... but it’s not user-friendly for swimming whatsoever.”

A mother of three young children called “911” to report the man’s behavior, Curran said, adding that the woman did not believe the man was in any real danger but was simply behaving strangely. As Sullivan arrived, however, Curran said people began yelling that the man had disappeared beneath the water.

Sullivan quickly threw his firearms into his vehicle and dove into the murky water, said Curran. A man in his 20s followed Sullivan to help, and together they pulled the submerged man onto the shore, where medics began performing CPR and soon transported him to an area hospital, according to Curran.

According to spokesman for the Worcester Country District Attorney’s Office, Tim Connolly, the man was pronounced dead at UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester early Saturday.

“Now that the person has died, we will do an unattended death investigation,” said Connolly. He added that the medical examiner has yet to determine the man’s exact cause and manner of death.