Dressed all in white, friends and family members of Jaylen Rushin, Kai Killebrew, and Matthew Shupp were all united in prayer as the three student athletes from Xavier College Prep recover from the injuries they face after a severe car accident.
Sources said the three teens were playing video games Friday night and decided to get some snacks. A decision that ended in a tragic rollover accident on Saturday at 3:40 A.M at the intersection of Madison St and Ave 42 in Indio.
Matthew Shup was released from the hospital and went to Sunday mass at Xavier College Prep. The community welcomed him with a warm round of applause and a special prayer.
Christopher Alling is the principal of Xavier College Prep. He sent an email to students and alumni with an update on the condition of the students who are still hospitalized at Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs. According to Alling, Kai Killebrew underwent back surgery.
“As it stands, the road for Kai’s recovery will be long and arduous, but optimistic,” he said.
Regarding Jaylen, who recently opened his eyes after a medically induced coma, “doctors and nurses remain cautiously optimistic,” he added. “There are good signs, but no promises.”
Amor Toland was one of those friends wearing a white outfit who went to mass to support her friends who are still fighting for their lives.
“I’m friends with all three of them, and it’s really a tragedy to see what happened,” she said. “It’s really taking a toll in our community and all their friends and family.”
Julissa Lopez was also there to show her solidarity. She said this is a lesson for all.
“We walk away with knowing that you have another chance and to honestly live life with safety and caution,” she said.
Matthew received loving hugs and caring words of support. He told NBC Palm Springs that there were no alcohol or drugs involved. As of now, authorities are still investigating the cause of the crash.
Jaylen will be turning 15-years-old on October 1, 2018, so the school is organizing a prayer service to celebrate his birthday. Time and location are yet to be determined.
Xavier College Prep staff will be sending updates through email and social media.
Students remain hopeful as they pray and await for their dear classmates to heal from their physical and emotional wounds.
“They are good kids, hard workers, good students,” Alling said. “The outpouring of emotion and the love was palpable even more so today.”