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Survivor of 2 plane crashes to play basketball

Survivor of 2 plane crashes to play basketball

An American high school basketball star who survived two plane crashes that killed his family plans to play college basketball at the University of Michigan next year.
Austin Hatch, of Fort Wayne, Indiana, survived a crash last June which killed his father and stepmother, after surviving a crash in 2003 which killed his mother and siblings.
"The most difficult thing is just missing my biological family, because I'm the only one left," Hatch told the Detroit Free Press. "I wish there was an instructional manual in how to deal with this kind of loss."
Hatch, who was 16 at the time of the last crash, said he'll use a scholarship at Michigan to live the life he and his father always had imagined. He has yet to be cleared to play and said he didn't care, trusting his doctors will tell him when it's appropriate. He said he thinks no one else can relate to his situation.
"No one that I know of," he said. "If there is someone, I haven't met them yet."
Last month, the National Transportation Safety Board said in a report that the crash that killed Dr. Stephen Hatch and his wife, Kim, occurred after the single-engine plane stalled because of inadequate air speed. The report said Stephen Hatch failed to follow the proper protocol.
After the aircraft missed its instrument landing approach at Charlevoix Municipal Airport, he turned around and attempted a second landing on the runway from the opposite direction before crashing into a garage in a neighborhood near the airport, according to witness statements collected by the NTSB.
Stephen Hatch also was piloting a similar plane in September 2003 that crashed in Indiana. He saved Austin after that crash. But his other children _ Lindsay, 11, and Ian, 5 _ died along with his first wife, Julie, 38.
Following last year's crash, Austin Hatch was in a medically induced coma for weeks before returning to Fort Wayne. He didn't play basketball this past season.
Austin Hatch had a serious head injury from last year's crash. He said the recovery has been difficult.
"My dad's dad, my grandpa Jim Hatch, he's as close a thing to my dad as there is," he said. "So he's been very instrumental in helping me with the recovery process."


Updated : 2021-03-09 15:55 GMT+08:00