CHICAGO (CBS) — A man is accused of drunk driving when his semi slammed into several cars and a school bus outside Lewis University.

Three college students were hurt and one of them, Michael Hassan, is in a coma.

Now his classmates are coming together at a prayer service.

CBS 2’s Vince Gerasole reports his friends describe Hassan as one of the most caring and kind people you could ever meet. They’re also asking questions about the semi driver police have arrested, charging him with DUI.

At a prayer service, the Lewis University gospel choir lift their voices in song for one of their own, 21-year-old junior Michael Hassan.

He’s now in a medically induced coma at Loyola Medical Center, after the Jeep he was riding in was hit by a semi cab at the university entrance last Friday. Police said the driver had been drinking.

“He doesn’t deserve to be in the position he is in,” said Lewis University student Kim Zuleger “I wish I could make it better for him.”

Police have arrested the semi’s driver, 54-year-old Sherrard McKnight from North Carolina, charging him with DUI.

CBS 2 learned he has an arrest record that includes robbery and assault. Police said he ran a red light, causing three other vehicles to crash.

Hassan is recovering from serious internal injuries.

 

As his friends gather in prayer and song in Hassan’s honor, they are haunted by the circumstances that led to his injuries.

“It’s not right to get behind the wheel of  a car drunk, but how do you get behind the wheel of a semi drunk, ” asked Zuleger. “How do you make a conscious decision to do that?”

Hassan’s parents were at the prayer service. They said their son has also suffered brain injuries. They are thankful for the prayers of the greater community that’s helping them all cope.

Two other students were injured in the accident.

Both were treated and released.

Vince Gerasole