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posted: 5/21/2012 7:01 PM

Crash sends Jeep into Vernon Hills pond

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  • A Jeep is pulled out of a pond after an accident near the intersection of Lakeview Parkway and Fairway Drive in Vernon Hills about 4 p.m. Monday. The driver of the Jeep was able to get out of the vehicle.

       A Jeep is pulled out of a pond after an accident near the intersection of Lakeview Parkway and Fairway Drive in Vernon Hills about 4 p.m. Monday. The driver of the Jeep was able to get out of the vehicle.
    Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

  • Divers work to hook up a Jeep that went into a pond after an accident in Vernon Hills about 4 p.m. Monday.

       Divers work to hook up a Jeep that went into a pond after an accident in Vernon Hills about 4 p.m. Monday.
    Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

 
 

A man was able to free himself from an SUV that crashed into a retention pond in Vernon Hills, despite suffering injuries in the "violent collision," according to Countryside Fire District officials.

Police said a 17-year-old driving a Mercedes turned in front of a Jeep at the intersection of Lakeview Parkway and Fairway Drive, causing the three-vehicle collision.

The Mercedes struck the side of the Jeep about 3:35 p.m. Monday. The Jeep then struck a third vehicle before plunging into the pond, said Vernon Hills police Sgt. Kevin Grampo.

The 55-year-old Vernon Hills man driving the Jeep was fortunate to be wearing his seat belt and remain conscious after the impact, said Countryside Fire District Batallion Chief Chuck Smith.

A rescue crew found the man clinging on to the side of the submerged Jeep SUV about 20 feet from the shore, Smith said.

Officials said the man's injuries were not life-threatening but severe enough that he could not swim to shore without the help of rescuers.

Smith said the vehicle was in about 6 feet of water.

The man who escaped the submerged vehicle and the 17-year-old driver of the Mercedes were both taken to Advocate Condell Medical Center, officials said.

The Mercedes sustained heavy front end damage in the crash, but police said the driver was walking around after the collision and the injuries were "very minor."

Police said the 17-year-old, who lives in Vernon Hills, was cited for failing to yield while turning left. The driver of the third vehicle, a BMW, refused treatment at the scene.

Divers entered the water and hooked cables to the submerged vehicle, which was pulled from the pond shortly after the crash.

The Mundelein, Libertyville and Lincolnshire-Riverwoods fire departments assisted the Countryside Fire District.

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