Video shows terrifying rollover crash involving van full of students

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Cell phone video shows a firsthand look at the terror inside a van full of students as it rolls over, seriously injuring three.

Illinois State Police said 14 people were in the van when it rolled; four were ejected and three were seriously injured. The students were on their way St. Louis to help repair homes for senior citizens.

"I turn the camera to myself and that's when it just started flipping over, and I dropped the phone," said Jermarious Gordon. He heard something, felt vibration and recorded their van rolling over and over.

"I feel like I've got to try to get out of the van and help people," he recalled.

But he couldn't help; Gordon was trapped in the van.

"I went out the left widow and they went out the right window on to the highway," recalled Andrew Smith.

Smith was ejected from the van, as was his cousin Justin Cox.

"I landed on grass, they landed on like concrete, the highway. He flew out the van but he was trying to get up and we telling him, like, no, don't get up," he said.

Cox, a student at North Lawndale College Prep, remains hospitalized, fighting for his life. He sustained a fractured skull and swelling in his brain. Doctors are keeping him sedated at St. John's Hospital in Springfield.

At the time I didn't really care about my injuries. I was focused on, like, my cousin, seeing what was up with him and my friend. My friend, he was laying out in the street, too," Smith said.

Gordon and Smith remain worried about their cousin.

"I'm just waiting to get that call that say he's on the way home, that's the only thing that ever, I don't care about where it happened, why it happened, I'm just waiting to get that call that he's coming home," said Smith.

Cox's mother said her son will remain at St. John's Hospital for some time. Doctors are being extremely cautious because of his severe head nijuries.

No one died in the rollover, but state police said only two of the students were properly restrained.
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