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Posted on Mon, Sep 12, 2011 : 6:30 p.m.

Chelsea High School student injured in traffic accident wakes up from coma

By Kyle Feldscher

The Chelsea High School student who was severely injured in a traffic accident while running during practice has woken up from a coma, according to Facebook page set up for him.

Kersch Ray, 13, is a Chelsea High School freshman and has been identified as one of 2 cross-country team runners who was hit by a vehicle on the morning of Sept. 2 at Old US-12 and Freer Road.

Michael Ray, Kersch’s father, posted on the Prayers for Kersch Facebook page that Kersch woke up Monday and is going to be moved from the University of Michigan Health System Trauma Center to the hospital’s rehabilitation center, where he’s expected to stay for at least 1 month.


Kersch Ray

Courtesy of Facebook

“The damage to his brain was more than we expected, but he is alive and we taught him to talk and walk before,” Ray posted on the Facebook page, thanking the many people who have posted on the page for their support.

Kersch suffered 2 broken legs and a closed head injury, which required a portion of his skull to be removed to relieve pressure on his brain, according to a Facebook event to raise money for the family.

Officials at the University of Michigan Health System could not provide a condition update on Kersch because the Ray family had requested that the hospital not release any information.

Attempts to reach the Ray family were unsuccessful on Monday.

The Chelsea Police Department and Chelsea School District are conducting investigations into the incident.

Chelsea Superintendent Dave Killips said last week that the boys and girls cross country teams will no longer run on area roads before dawn or after sunset. It had been common practice for the teams to run during the hours before sunrise to train for competitions.

Killips did not return a message left for him Monday afternoon.

Chelsea police Chief Ed Toth said Monday there is no update on the investigation into what happened during the crash on the morning of Sept. 2. He said the Chelsea police are interviewing about 20 people, including men’s cross-country team coach Eric Swager and athletic director Mike Kapolka, about the incident.

In addition, the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office is conducting a separate traffic investigation, and the 2 agencies will compare notes to see what matches up. It’s expected to be at least a few weeks until more information is going to be available, Toth said.

“Unfortunately, in these types of situations, it just takes time,” Toth said.

An account has been set up for the Ray family to help the family pay for Kersch’s medical bills. Anyone interested in giving money can send donations to the Chelsea State Bank, 1010 Main St. in Chelsea, courtesy of the Kersch Ray Medical Fund.

There also will be a fundraiser from 9-11:30 p.m. Saturday at Big League Brews, 20428 Ecorse Road in Taylor. There will be a 50/50 raffle and bracelets sold for $5 that will allow for drink specials the rest of the night.

There will be another event to raise money for the Ray family at 3 p.m. Oct. 9 at The Hooch in Dearborn Heights. The $15 charge for the event includes an all-you-can-eat nacho bar, a soft drink and a raffle ticket.

Kyle Feldscher covers cops and courts for He can be reached at or you can follow him on Twitter.


The Hooch

Wed, Sep 14, 2011 : 2:30 p.m.

Here is a link to the Benefit event on facebook !! <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> Please tell all of your friends so we can help the Ray family !!


Wed, Sep 14, 2011 : 2:18 p.m.

CC runners are fighters. God bless Kersch as he fights his way back. God bless his family.


Tue, Sep 13, 2011 : 12:11 p.m.

This is good news to hear! My brother was in a bad car accident over 7 years ago. He also suffered severe head trauma. 7 years later he is still learning to walk without his wheelchair, he can talk, and he is getting better ever day. It is AWESOME the dad has such a great attitude! That will carry over to Kersche as well. I think the hardest part of recovery, especially for an athlete (my brother played hockey and soccer) is the slow pace of recovery. But with the drive to do so and a great support team, it will happen! Best of luck and prayers to Kersche, his family, doctors, friends, and everyone else out there supporting him.


Tue, Sep 13, 2011 : 4:54 a.m.

My thoughts and prayers go out to Kersch, and the family. (happy to hear he woke up from the coma) Dad has a great attitude, (we taught him to talk and walk before). May he be blessed with full recovery.