Future MBB player hospitalized by plane crash - Updated

Submitted by MGoChippewa on June 25th, 2011 at 9:34 AM

Ed-Tim: A really sad story, especially considering Austin has been hit with plane-crash tragedy in the past. Keep the entire Hatch family in your thoughts and/or prayers, if that's what you're into.

2013 commitment Austin Hatch, just weeks after verbally committing to play at UofM was seriously injured in a plane crash last night.  His father and step mother died at the scene.  Austin is in the ICU at Northern Michigan Regional Hospital.  This article explains the crash with no names, and Dylan Burkhardt of UMHoops has been tweeting about it.  Prayers to Austin and his family.


Indiana News Center provided an update on Austin's condition with the details coming from a family friend.  To summarize, Austin is in a medically induced coma.  He suffered a broken clavicle, ribs and a fractured leg.  Along with that, both of his lungs were punctured and his skull was fractured.  There is minor swelling in his brain, but doctors claim to have it under control.  He is in critical condition, but doctors do believe they have control over the situation.  Continued support and prayers from the Michigan family to the Hatch family.



June 25th, 2011 at 5:59 PM ^

The young man will be in my thoughts.  I'm sure the Michigan family will rally around him.  Somebody please let us know if we can send cards or something like that  (assuming that's not an NCAA violation). 


June 26th, 2011 at 1:06 AM ^

I was in a car accident where my father was paralized.  If it wasn't for my two older sisters taking care of me..I dont know what I would of done.

I'm glad that he has someone close.  He's going to be in my thoughts and prayers.

Austin, I don't pray very often, but I'll say one for you and your family tonight.


June 25th, 2011 at 7:37 PM ^

Thoughts and prayers go out to him and the rest of his family.  Hoping the young man can make it through this tough time now and in the future.  I haven't looked too deep into the story, but I'm hoping our Mich family has made there way out there for support in a time when any shoulder is a well needed shoulder to lean on.  I too lost my parents at a young age and know what he'll be going through.  I'll be rooting for him, not only for the Michigan connection, but as anyone who has a soul, you're heart goes out to people faced with this type of adversity.  Praying...


June 25th, 2011 at 7:38 PM ^

I hope we can give him a scholarship even if he isn't able to play basketball.  Or we should start a charity.  Or something.  It sucks not feeling like theres anythingto do to help.


June 25th, 2011 at 8:39 PM ^

This is incredibly sad.  It's as bad or worse than the Mealer situation, really.  Hope he makes it through and can live a normal life, and maybe play.  I hope he can learn to deal with the loss of family, which will be the most difficult part of it.  I expect he will receive a standing O from the Crisler crowd (maybe the Michigan Stadium crowd, if he can make it to school.  I know I'll be standing.



June 25th, 2011 at 9:05 PM ^

From an Indiananewscenter.com piece:

***Update on Austin’s condition from family friend Jay Leonard:

“I got off the phone with a good friend of ours, Dr. Bob VanHorn, and he and his wife Renee were at the hospital today. Bob said that they had induced coma and he's currently resting comfortably. He does have some broken bones. From what Bob told me, he's got some broken ribs and clavicle. He did fracture his leg, but he said that there's nothing that needs to be done as far as casting or pins, that type of thing. Both of his lungs are punctured from what I understand, but they've got that under control. The most important thing right now that they're monitoring is that he has a fractured skull and he has some swelling on the brain.”

Leonard went on to say that VanHorn believes the doctors in Michigan have control over Austin’s situation. He also said that neurological tests will be done over the next few days.


June 25th, 2011 at 10:43 PM ^

Austin will have a long road back, but he will have the Lord's arms, and those of the Michigan Family, wrapped around him. 


I checked the FAA N-number registration site (the Det News website has a picture of the empennage of the aircraft at the accident scene). The aircraft was a Beech A36 "Bonanza". The aircraft type has a reasonably good safety record, although previous variants of the Bonanza (particularly the infamous "V-tail") were much more checkered. The Bonanza requires an experienced pilot to safety operate, (due to a narrow weight and balance envelope) but Austin's dad had apparently been flying for many years.

As a private pilot myself, I will be interested to learn what caused this accident, and what might be learned from it. For me, these accidents and tragedies are always reminders that "there, but for the grace of God, go I."


June 26th, 2011 at 1:53 PM ^

Basketball recruiting is currently in a quiet period through July 5 (according to an NCAA basketball recruiting calendar). Off-campus in-person contact is not permitted, but there isn't a restriction on writing or telephoning. From an NCAA glossary of terms:

Quiet period is a time when the college may not have any in-person talk with the prospective student-athlete or the parents off the college’s campus. The coach may not watch the prospect play or practice.The prospective student-athlete can visit college campuses during this time and a coach may write or telephone.


June 26th, 2011 at 12:17 AM ^

I'm not even sure what to say to something like this. I hope with all my heart that recovers well, and he gets the support he needs to overcome it.


June 26th, 2011 at 12:35 AM ^

This poor kid has no immediate family left now. I hope the brain swelling doesn't have any permanent effects and that we still give him a scholarship so he can get his degree at UM even if he can't play basketball.

Desmonlon Edwoodson

June 26th, 2011 at 1:09 AM ^

My sister was in the same ICU in a coma(not medically induced) for 2 weeks before she started coming back (car accident).  I'm no expert, but if his brain doesn't shift in his skull he's got a decent chance.  My sister might have been a year older, and she had to re-learn pretty much everything(extensive rehabilitation in a facility in Grand Rapids)  but she came all the way back and graduated from Michigan, it can be done.  Even with extensive damage(my sis had a diffusion injury) the human brain has an amazing capacity for work-arounds.  Will be praying for him.


June 26th, 2011 at 1:43 AM ^

Prayers to the Hatch family and especially Austin for a recovery, basketball completely aside. I can't imagine having to deal with that amount of loss and I truly hope to see the guy in a Michigan uniform still someday or at least at U-M.

Unfortunately, the comments on the ESPN article were far less tasteful towards this situation and it makes me sad that people can't put their appalling thoughts aside during a situation like this.

Sac Fly

June 26th, 2011 at 2:04 AM ^

From the EMS providers, sometimes it gets overlooked. Austin was taken from charlevoix to traverse city which is about 50 miles, im just starting in the firefighter/paramedic field and ive seen patients airlifted before. It takes time to get the patient to the trauma center and in this field 10 minutes can be the difference between life and death. The great thing is that the swelling on the brain is minor and that's the most important thing to worry about right now, if the doctors can continue to keep it down im positive that he will pull thru.

Poster Nutbag

June 26th, 2011 at 2:20 AM ^

Wishing Austin a speedy recovery from the physical injuries and wishing him all the best in moving forward!  I do hope he is still able to make to Michigan even if it's just for the educations.  Very sad to hear about both sets of losses due to plane crashes.  

Go luck Austin and wish you all the best!  Stay strong!   Will keep you and your family in my prayers!!!


June 26th, 2011 at 8:38 AM ^

This happened 5 five blocks away from my house. It was a crappy night with wind and rain. The runway to the airport was literally on the other side of the road maybe 100 yds away. Prayers to for Austin.


June 26th, 2011 at 10:34 AM ^

Thought it was interesting that that article and others say that the Hatch family was headed to Walloon Lake, where the father "and his brothers all owned property." As many here know, Camp Michigania is located on Walloon Lake.


June 26th, 2011 at 10:45 AM ^

...connection, but that it is interesting.

Here's the local angle from the Forty Wayne paper.

Kline said some of Austin’s teammates have gone to visit him at the Traverse City, Mich., hospital where he’s being treated. He said Austin’s relatives were with him, too.

With the exception of the three children of his stepmother, Austin is without an immediate family.

“It’s just Austin right now, Austin hanging on,” [Canterbury girls basketball coach] Kreiger said.

Sad does not do this story justice.


June 26th, 2011 at 1:42 PM ^

Tweet from Greg Jones of Fort Wayne Journal Gazette:

Plans are to bring Austin Hatch out of coma Monday; teammates Davis Rao and Trent Van Horn are with him at hospital

EDIT: Part of the above tweet seems to be based on a new AP article, which also says:

A spokeswoman for the hospital [in] Traverse City, Mich., says Austin remains in critical condition.


June 26th, 2011 at 1:47 PM ^

I wonder if he knows what happened to his family.  I hope that he has friends/remaining family with him if they have to tell him.  I can't imagine having to hear that news after coming out of a coma. Or hear it at all for that matter.


June 26th, 2011 at 2:52 PM ^

...a story that goes into this a little further.

Austin Hatch...will be brought out of the medically induced coma on Monday, his high school coach Dan Kline said today. ...Kline said his grandmother, members of his family and many friends are with him.

“Everything’s kind of the same,” Kline said. “Today’s an important day. This is the 48-hour range and they’re trying to keep the stimulation down (on the brain) to see if the swelling goes down. The plan right now is to bring him out of the medicine (Monday.)”

Kline said it’s unclear what will happen at that point, but the reports he’s getting are that “nothing has really changed, but he’s holding his own.”

A number of his teammates have gone to visit him but the area is so full with friends and family that visitors are being limited.


June 26th, 2011 at 1:32 PM ^

The magnitude of this stuff is hard to fathom.  Can't say enough how much we're all thinking about Austin on campus.  


Anyone know how much contact our coaching staff is allowed to have with Austin at this point in the recruiting process?  Knowing what kind of men they are we all know they're gonna want to be there for him for what ever he needs.


June 26th, 2011 at 6:45 PM ^

...via Twitter if Michigan intended to request permission from the NCAA to visit Austin and he replied in the affirmative. That's very gratifying to know, and not surprising in the least.


June 26th, 2011 at 6:44 PM ^

New AP article has some more details on Austin Hatch's injuries and treatment, based on information from his father's business partner, Dr. G. David Bojrab:

Austin Hatch suffered brain bruising and swelling and deep facial cuts in Friday's crash that killed his father, Stephen Hatch, and stepmother, Kim, but has shown some hopeful signs at a northern Michigan hospital, said Dr. G. David Bojrab.

. . .

Bojrab said Austin's brain swelling was going down and he had been moving all four limbs when doctors reduce [reduced?] the coma-inducing drugs they placed him on after Friday's crash. But Bojrab said it's unclear how soon doctors plan to take Austin off those drugs.

"They're waiting for the brain swelling to go down," he said. "He has bruising to the brain but there's no structural damage as far as they can tell right now, so they're hoping that that's a good sign and he'll have a better recovery or a full recovery."