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Posted on Sat, Jun 25, 2011 : 10:37 a.m.

Michigan basketball recruit Austin Hatch's parents die in plane crash; he's in serious condition

By Jim Knight


Investigators were on the scene today in Charlevoix at the site of the plane crash that killed Dr. Stephen Hatch and his wife, Kim. Michigan basketball recruit Austin Hatch is in critical 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. 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, 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 "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." reporter Michael Rothstein contributed to this article



Mon, Jun 27, 2011 : 9:45 p.m.

What a tragedy for this young man. I am so sorry this happened. God Bless you Austin, and may God keep your family in his arms, as well as you. Best wishes for a full recovery.


Mon, Jun 27, 2011 : 12:22 a.m.

Your link to the article about the 2003 crash directs to an article about a different plane crash...

Mike D.

Sun, Jun 26, 2011 : 3:16 p.m.

It's a very sad situation. Yet another reason I don't fly on any private aircraft smaller than a G5.


Sun, Jun 26, 2011 : 1:08 p.m.

My prayers are with Austin. So much tragedy in this young man's life in such a short period of time. God bless you.


Sun, Jun 26, 2011 : 12:47 p.m.

Prayers go out for this young man. The basketball net in the picture is eerie.

Monica R-W

Sun, Jun 26, 2011 : 4:38 a.m.

Sad story and condolences go out to the victim and the remaining members of the Hatch family.


Sun, Jun 26, 2011 : 2:07 a.m.

Truly a sad story. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Austin.


Sun, Jun 26, 2011 : 1:58 a.m.

What a tragic story...we are praying for you Austin. <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>

Bob Smith

Sat, Jun 25, 2011 : 10:01 p.m.

It's a shame that a newspaper believes in censorship.

Michael Ping

Sun, Jun 26, 2011 : 2:15 a.m.

That would be that &quot;aren't proper&quot; for the situation.

Michael Ping

Sun, Jun 26, 2011 : 2:14 a.m.

The real shame is that people apparently write comments that are proper for the situation similar to you. Instead of offering your condolences and prayers, you are worried about censorship. There are terms and conditions and if you break them, you get the comments removed and/or blocked from commenting. After all, this is the property of the paper and they have every right to do what they please. With that said, ,my condolences to Austin and family along with prayers to a quick recovery. See, it's not that hard!


Sat, Jun 25, 2011 : 8:14 p.m.

Austin, may you recover fully and are able to lead a happy life young man. I'm pulling for you to just be healthy, forget basketball right now, you just concentrate on recovering and may all of your hopes come true. I wish you the best, my heart is very heavy for you, I'm so saddened by this for you, be strong and fight all the way. The U-M family is behind you and in your corner.


Sat, Jun 25, 2011 : 5:09 p.m.

Praying for him! Really sad story.


Sat, Jun 25, 2011 : 4:48 p.m.

Dr. Hatch will be sincerely missed by all of us who worked with him and by the countless patients he treated. My prayers, thoughts, and well wishes are with Austin. I can't imagine the horrible grief he is dealing with as well as the physical agony. God bless you, Austin. You have countless people praying for you.

Ann Thompson

Sat, Jun 25, 2011 : 4:29 p.m.

I heard that Austin has broken bones and a skull fracture, I have friends that know the family. Praying for healing, both mental and physical.


Sat, Jun 25, 2011 : 4:24 p.m.

What a horribly sad story. The entire readership is obviously pulling for young Austin to pull through, but this is one of those stories that just shows that you don't know what's coming. Thanks for the sensitive report,

Michigan Man

Sat, Jun 25, 2011 : 4:19 p.m.

Very, very sad to read this story. My God bless the memory of this young's man entire family and keep Austin safe for ever and eternity. The M basketball program (larger University also) has a fine opportunity to make a meaningful statement about how we care for our fellow human beings.


Sat, Jun 25, 2011 : 3:57 p.m.

how much grief can one young man be expected to bear? truly unbelievable.


Sat, Jun 25, 2011 : 3:41 p.m.

This is horrible, sad news for a family that has already suffered a tragedy. My thoughts and prayers go out to Austin. I hope the Michigan family can offer you some solice.


Sat, Jun 25, 2011 : 3:39 p.m.

Wow, what a crazy story. I feel bad for Austin, he has now lost his mom, sister, brother, father, and step mom in two separate crashes. This poor kid is going to need some serious help moving forward......... Maybe basketball can be his escape.


Sat, Jun 25, 2011 : 3:34 p.m.

Wait, this kids Mom, sister and brother died in a crash and now his father and step mother die in a different crash? That's just horrible.