Coach: Indiana hoops standout in drug-induced coma

June 26, 2011 1:58:35 PM PDT
The basketball coach for an Indiana high school standout who survived a plane crash that killed his father and stepmother said Sunday the 16-year-old is in a drug-induced coma as he struggles to recover from his injuries.

Canterbury School basketball coach Dan Kline told The Associated Press that a cousin of Austin Hatch's father told him doctors at a northern Michigan hospital planned to bring the Fort Wayne teenager out of his coma Monday. Austin, a high school junior, recently accepted a scholarship to attend and play for the University of Michigan after graduation.

A spokeswoman for the hospital in Traverse City, Mich., said Austin remained in critical condition Sunday.

Friday's crash that killed Austin's father, Dr. Stephen Hatch and his stepmother, Kim, was the second one Austin survived. A 2003 crash killed his mother and two siblings. His father was piloting both times. Kline said everyone at the private Canterbury School, which has about 320 students, is stunned by the news of the deadly crash and praying that Austin survives. He said it's "unbelievable" the youngster is now the only survivor of his immediate family. "They're all gone," Kline said. "He's the only one left.

What's the chance of that happening? A million to one, if that. It's just unbelievable."

Austin's maternal grandparents and his father's cousin have been at his bedside since shortly after Friday's crash, Kline said. His paternal grandparents and other relatives are returning from a trip to Spain and were expected to arrive Sunday afternoon.

Dr. G. David Bojrab, a colleague and close friend of Austin's father, said Saturday the Hatches were flying to their summer home on Walloon Lake in Michigan's Lower Peninsula, where Stephen Hatch and his brothers all owned property, when his single-engine plane flew into a garage near the Charlevoix Municipal Airport.

It was the same home Stephen Hatch and the family were returning from nearly eight years ago when they crashed in Indiana.

The National Transportation Safety Board had investigators at the crash site Saturday. NTSB spokesman Keith Holloway said he expected a preliminary report within 10 days and a final report determining a cause within 18 months.

Holloway said Sunday the wreckage was being moved to a hangar at the airport and the lead investigator expected to complete the on-site investigation within a few days. There was no immediate indication of what caused the crash, Holloway said.

Kline said Austin, who is 6-foot-6, 215 pounds, is a very strong physically and he hopes that his being in good condition helps him survive.

"The doctors say the first 24 to 48 hours are critical, that they're crucial. And we're getting to that point right now so we're hoping and praying for the best," he said. "But he's just a strong guy, a strong kid. That's what saving him right now."


David N. Goodman in Detroit contributed to this report.

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