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River Forest Student Dead In Crash On Way Home From Indiana University

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John Malone. (Credit: Fenwick High School)

John Malone. (Credit: Fenwick High School)

Derrick Blakley Derrick Blakley
Derrick Blakley is a general assignment reporter for CBS 2...
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REMINGTON, Ind. (CBS) – A terrifying car crash has killed an Indiana University student heading home to suburban River Forest.

CBS 2’s Derrick Blakley reports, shortly before 2 p.m. Sunday, 20-year-old John Malone was riding in an SUV with three others about 60 miles south of Chicago on Interstate 65, when the vehicle blew a tire and spun out of control.

Three other IU students were hurt in the wreck.

About an hour after that crash, a woman from Valparaiso, Ind., was killed when the SUV she was in was struck by a car as it approached a traffic backup near the scene of the first crash.

Malone was a 2011 graduate of Fenwick High School, and his uncle said his years there left a deep impression.

“He said that he wanted to be very successful in the business world, and have four kids, and be able to send all of his kids to Fenwick,” said Mike Digilio.

Malone played basektball all four years at Fenwick; a kid who stood out for his height, his smarts, and his smile.

Caleb Fields was one of his coaches.

“John was a guy that always had a smiling face. He was about 6-5, so everybody could see him. He played basketball here, was a team leaders when he was on the team and obviously, it’s a big loss for our community,” said Fields.

It was the second big loss for Fenwick in a month.

Last month, Fenwick alum and U.S. State Department foreign officer Anne Smedinghoff was killed by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan.

“The great thing about Fenwick is we are a community and we do come together in situations like this,” said Fields.

Malone, a business major, was a not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash, and was ejected from the rear seat of his roommate’s Ford Explorer, which flipped and landed on top of him.

“He was a really nice kid. He was just a good-hearted kid,” said Digilio.

One of the other students in the SUV suffered what Indiana State Police called life-threatening injuries. Michael Rendy, 20, of La Grange, was airlifted to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn. He was listed in fair condition Sunday night.

About an hour after the crash that took Malone’s life, 51-year-old Melissa Gelenas was killed in a crash when another car lost control approaching a traffic backup from the earlier crash, striking the SUV Gelenas was in. Another person from her SUV was injured, and the driver of the car that hit the SUV was issued a traffic ticket, but not injured.

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