Kevin C. Cox

Austin Hatch cleared to practice with high school team

Michigan basketball recruit Austin Hatch has been cleared to practice with his high school team, after a long recovery process following a plane crash in 2011.

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6 Total Updates since June 25, 2011
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Austin Hatch cleared for practice

Michigan commit Austin Hatch has been cleared to return to limited practice with his high school team, Fort Wayne Canterbury.

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Austin Hatch's Condition Continues To Improve

It has been more than a week since Michigan basketball recruit Austin Hatch was in a tragic plane crash that killed his father and step-mother. Hatch survived the crash, but he has been in critical condition with multiple injuries, including a fractured skull and brain swelling.

Updates on Hatch's status have been posted on his CaringBridge website. The latest update was on Saturday, and it notes that Hatch's condition is improving.

Austin had another good and restful night.  The concern regarding brain swelling has subsided and his condition continues to improve.  We are encouraged by Austin's response to the excellent medical care he is receiving, a testament to his prior athletic training regimen.  We will keep all of you posted with any meaningful changes in his condition. God bless you all.

The preliminary report on what caused the plane crash was released on Saturday. According to the report, Dr. Stephen Hatch attempted an instrument approach to Charlevoix Municipal Airport before crashing. The thinking is the plane stalled when Hatch tried to turn back toward the runway and dipped below the minimum altitude allowed for the approach he was attempting.

"Pilots would make an instrument approach for practice or because they can't see," he said. "It seems as though he was either disoriented or confident enough where he thought he could descend below the minimums. He did, but it was not the right thing to do. It was poor decisionmaking."

The plane was originally scheduled to land in Boyne Falls, but it was diverted to Charlevoix. Currently the reason for the change is unknown.

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Austin Hatch Update: Still In Coma; Dog Also Survived Plane Crash

As of Monday, Michigan basketball commit Austin Hatch was still in a drug-induced coma. Originally the plan was for him to be taken out of the coma on Monday, but doctors decided to wait for results of a CT scan.

There is some good news to report, though.

But sources tell us they have observed movement in all four of Austin’s extremities and they feel it's a positive sign.

Some other good news is that Brady, a dog belonging to the Hatch family, somehow managed to survive the plane crash. Brady was picked up by animal control on Saturday afternoon within a mile of the site of the plane crash. A scan of his microchip revealed that he was owned by the Hatch family. Their other dog, Ally, did not survive the crash.

One other bit of good news to pass along is that the NCAA is reportedly going to work with Michigan to allow the school to help Hatch. Recruiting rules would normally prevent Michigan from becoming too involved, but considering the circumstances, Hatch needs all of the help he can get, and the NCAA realizes that.

I wish there was more good news relating to Hatch's condition to pass along, but there hasn't been an update since the one mentioned at the start of this post. While we wait for an update on his condition the best thing to do is to pray for Hatch and leave well-wishes for Hatch and his family at his CaringBridge site.

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The Latest On Michigan Basketball Commit Austin Hatch

Michigan basketball commit Austin Hatch is still in critical condition following a Friday night plane crash that killed his father and step-mother. At the time the news of the crash broke on Saturday, details about what happened or Hatch's condition were scarce, but since then a lot of new information has come out.

As it stands right now, Hatch is in a drug-induced coma because of the injuries sustained in the crash. The Indiana News Center reported this about the specific injuries Hatch is dealing with:

"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 (Saturday). 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."

The Detroit Free Press spoke to Hatch's high school coach, who said that the plan is to bring Hatch out of the drug-induced coma on Monday. Dr. G. David Bojrab added this:

Bojrab said Austin's brain swelling was going down and he had been moving all four limbs when doctors reduce 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."

As for what exactly caused the crash, the National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the matter. A preliminary report is expected to be released in the next 10 days, but a final report could take as long as 18 months to be released. All we know for the time being is that the plane the Hatch family was on crashed into a house's garage near the Charlevoix Municipal Airport. The Hatches were on their way to their summer home when the crash happened. This is the same summer home they were returning from in 2003 when Austin Hatch and his father survived a plane crash that killed his mother and two siblings.

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