At 3:55 p.m. on Monday, May 31, a car driven by Felix Spinks of Galesburg struck sophomore Luke Yanos on the corner of South Street and Cedar Street. Bystanders and Spinks all rushed to his aid and helped Yanos until Galesburg Hospital Ambulance Service (GHAS) arrived and took him to Cottage Hospital in Galesburg.
Yanos was having an average second day to his spring finals before the day turned for the worse.
“I met Luke in the library for some studying on our Asian studies final,” said senior Fayne Lawson. Lawson and Yanos were on their way to the Phi Gamma Delta house to print off information for a final later that evening. As they were crossing South Street, they heard the car driven by Spinks rev its engine right before Lawson got out of the way. Yanos was not so lucky. He jumped up as the car ran into him, and his left shoulder and head struck the windshield, Lawson believes.
“Seeing my brother [of Phi Gamma Delta] three to five feet above the car in the air put me in awe,” Lawson stated.
Lucky for Yanos, Lawson is first-aid certified as well as CPR certified and hopes to become a firefighter in the future.
Yanos eventually got over to the curb and Lawson quickly was by his side stabilizing his head. Lawson then called 911 as senior Blaine Murphy took off his shirt to help slow the bleeding on Yanos’ head. Also sophomore Bobby Shternberg was there by Yanos’ side, helping calm him.
Within two minutes of calling 911 there were police and a fire truck at the scene, Lawson remembers.
By 4:06 p.m., the Galesburg Police Department, GHAS, and Campus Safety had arrived and were blocking off traffic. A small crowd of Knox students, administrators, and staff had gathered around hoping for Yanos’ survival.
As GHAS lifted Yanos from the road, he screamed, signaling that he was in pain but conscious. As he was put into the back of the ambulance, the crowd gave him words of encouragement.
The police report states that Spinks saw Yanos start to cross South Street from the Knox College campus. Yanos returned to the curb then ran in front of Spinks’ car, traveling east. Yanos hit the driver’s side hood and windshield and flew over the car landing on the northeast corner of South and Cedar streets. Spinks then moved into the west lane to possibly block oncoming traffic and rushed to help Yanos. Yanos believed he had enough room for the car to stop as he entered the crosswalk. No citations were issued to either party.
Professor of Political Science Sue Hulett “heard the screeching breaks of a car and the impact” as she walked towards George Davis Hall from Old Main. Hulett states that the Dean of Students’ office was notified within five minutes so they could contact Luke’s parents in Missouri.
After the Dean of Students’ office was notified, Dean Lori Haslem told Dean Lawrence Breitborde and President Roger Taylor of the accident. President Taylor and Dean Breitborde then quickly went over to the accident, stated President Taylor. President Taylor was proud of the Knox student response at the scene as well as at the hospital.
“Thank God it wasn’t worse than it was,” stated Taylor.
Lawson was at Yanos’side from when he came to rest beside the curb to when he was asked to leave the emergency room at St. Francis Hospital by five doctors. Lawson held his hand and stood strong for Yanos, who was worried about losing his leg because of GHAS staff who told him that there was a chance he might lose it.
After his parents were notified, Yanos was transported to St. Francis Hospital in Peoria later that day. His injuries consisted of cuts and abrasions to his arms legs and head as well as a broken left leg.
Yanos’s parents left their home in Missouri as soon as they heard about the accident around 4:30 p.m. and were in Peoria by 7 p.m.
By 8:45 p.m., friends had shown up at St. Francis and took Lawson to get some food. Lawson stated that he had trouble sleeping that night while worrying about Yanos. Yanos had equal trouble with sleeping due to worrying about Lawson, despite the pain medication, Lawson stated.
Yanos is expected to recover after a surgery that started a little after 1 p.m. today, June 1 and be back on campus by Thursday. Lawson stated that there was a possibility of pins because Yanos’ leg was broken in two spots.
A few professors stated an interest in putting up stop signs or stop lights on South Street by the campus in hopes to prevent incidents like this from happening in the future.
Updates on Yanos’s recovery will be reported at a later date.