Michigan basketball recruit Austin Hatch's parents die in plane crash; he's in serious condition
Photo courtesy Petoskey News-Review
This story has been updated; Austin Hatch is in critical condition.
Austin Hatch, a member of the 2013 Michigan basketball team's recruiting class, is hospitalized in critical condition and his father and step-mother are dead after their plane crashed Friday evening in Charlevoix.
Petoskeynews.com reported that a single-engine aircraft with three passengers crashed into a garage in Charlevoix at 7:45 p.m. Friday. The aircraft was registered out of Fort Wayne, Ind., Hatch's hometown.
Karen Belcher, the director of publications at Canterbury School in Fort Wayne where Hatch is a junior, sent out a short email Saturday morning that read: "It is with deep sadness that the Canterbury community has learned of the deaths of Steve and Kim Hatch, parents of Austin '13, in a plane crash in Michigan on Friday evening. Austin was also in the plane and is hospitalized in serious condition. This is all the school knows at this time. Please keep Austin and his family in your thoughts and prayers."
Dan Kline, the basketball coach at Canterbury High School, said he was shocked by the news and had fond memories of Stephen Hatch, a pain management specialist.
"Great people. His dad was so elated (Austin) was going to Michigan," Kline said. "He was a great guy. So charismatic when he walked into a room. What else can you say? He was a person everyone liked, a people person."
Kline said he heard Austin Hatch was in "critical" condition, but didn't have any other details.
"Austin's a tough kid," Kline said. "He'll fight it. I'm telling you that. Where's there's a will, there's a way for him."
FAA officials said the aircraft was headed to Boyne Falls, IndianaNewsCenter.com reported.
It's not the first tragedy for the Hatch family. Stephen Hatch was the pilot of a single-prop 1990 Beechcraft-Bonanza that crashed near Bluffton, Ind., on Sept. 1, 2003 on a flight from Boyne City to Fort Wayne. Stephen Hatch and Austin Hatch survived, but his wife, Julie; daughter, Lindsay; and son, Ian, died.
"We are saddened to hear about another tragedy that has affected the Hatch family," Michigan basketball coach John Beilein said in a statement. "Austin needs as much support right now as possible and I know he will be in the thoughts and prayers of the Michigan family during this difficult time."
A Charlevoix resident heard the Hatch's aircraft struggling Friday before it crashed.
"It sounded like it was coming close to our house," Larry Nunemaker told Petoskeynews.com. "The engine kept cutting out. He crossed over the houses at the end of Carpenter and drilled in Teuschers' garage. It was definitely having engine trouble coming on."
AnnArbor.com reporter Michael Rothstein contributed to this article