Michigan Basketball Recruit in Coma after Second Plane Crash

A horrible tale:

A standout Indiana high school basketball player with the promise of playing at the University of Michigan is fighting for his life after surviving the second plane crash of his young life.

Austin Hatch, 16, of Fort Wayne, Ind., remained in critical condition Sunday in a northern Michigan hospital after the Friday evening crash that killed his father, Dr. Stephen Hatch, and his stepmother, Kim. Austin and his pilot father had survived a 2003 crash that killed Austin’s mother and two siblings.


Bojrab said the Hatches were flying to their summer home on Walloon Lake in Michigan’s northwestern Lower Peninsula, where Stephen Hatch and his brothers all owned property, when his single-engine Beechcraft A36 Bonanza 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.

“He was such a strong proponent of flying and teaching people to fly. … I think he felt compelled to continue his passion,” said Bojrab, a partner with Hatch in Pain Management Associates in Fort Wayne. “He felt compelled to show people that accidents do happen. He didn’t want people to look in the other direction.”

Somehow, I think the Hatch family would have been better off flying commercial flights with professional pilots. Over the last decade, general aviation (i.e., non-military, non-commercial) flights had an accident rate ranging from 1.14 to 1.28 per 100,000 flight hours. For commercial aviation, entire years go by without a crash.

FILED UNDER: Quick Takes, Sports
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Franklin says:

    Somehow, I think the Hatch family would have been better off flying commercial flights with professional pilots.

    One has to weigh the advantages/disadvantages, of course. Convenience can outweigh safety. I would certainly argue that the pain of flying commercially far outweighs the safety gained.