Boy Trapped Under Van After it Crashed into Ill. School

Aug. 8, 2013
A Gurnee Fire official said firefighters had to lift the rear of the minivan off the 11-year-old at the Woodland Middle School.

Aug. 08--An 11-year-old boy was hospitalized with burns and abrasions this afternoon after he was struck by a minivan that crashed through the doors of a school in north suburban Gurnee, officials said.

The unidentified boy was in the vestibule of the Woodland Middle School when minivan hit the building about 3:45 p.m. at 7000 Washington St., said Gurnee Fire Lt. Andy Wienckowski.

The boy had to be extricated with the jaws of life from beneath the minivan and suffered burns and abrasions but his injuries were not considered life-threatening, though his condition was initially listed as critical, Wienckowski said.

The motorist is a 67-year local business worker from Mount Prospect who was making a delivery to the school while driving a Honda Odyssey minivan, said Gurnee police Cmdr. Jay Patrick.

"He was apparently turning around or something in the parking lot outside the northeast entrance to the school,'' Patrick said.

The man told police he had the van in reverse but hit the gas instead of the brake, the commander said.

The 6th grader and his father were leaving the school where the annual proof of residency registration was under way, had passed through the first set of double doors and were inside a vestibule leading to the second set when the van came plowing through and hit the boy, according to Patrick.

"He accelerated quickly and came right up the walkway and right through the outside doors,'' Patrick said. "There are two sets of double doors and he took them all out."

"He was pinned under the rear of the van until fire medics got there and jacked up the rear of the minivan,'' Patrick said. "There were three or four people who tried to help trying to see if they could get him out, but they had to wait for the paramedics."

The boy suffered a leg injury and cuts and abrasions, but nothing life threatening, said Patrick. The boy's father, who was not injured, rode in the ambulance with the child to Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville.

The motorist's wife may possibly have been inside the van but neither she nor the 67-year-old man were taken to a hospital, said Patrick.

The driver, who was "shaken up" after the crash, was issued one citation for negligent driving and police are still investigating.

The motorist and his passenger along with one bystander, were treated at the scene for minor injuries, Wienckowski said.

The minivan damaged two sets of doors but apparently causing no significant structural damage to the building, according to Wienckowski.

Tribune reporter Rosemary Regina Sobol contributed to this report.

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