‘Pray For Austin...’
Teen struck by car, remains hospitalized
By Patrick Yost
Austin Sharp has a new MySpace page, set up by friends and family. Above a picture of the Morgan County High School senior, wearing what appears to be a tuxedo in a different, brighter time, are four simple words - “Pray for Austin Sharp.”
Sharp remains hospitalized with head injuries after a 75–year–old Greensboro man struck him while Sharp was, apparently, attempting to clear the road of debris after a school project had flown out of his truck while driving on Veazey Road.
Sharp, a second–year captain of the Morgan County High School wrestling team, has been hospitalized since the February 5 accident. According to his mother, Laura Sharp, doctors removed a ventilator tube from the young man this week as well as brain monitors, all signs of recovery friends say. Laura said Austin is not in critical condition and is breathing on his own. The family plans to move him to Scottish Rite Children’s Hospital in a few days, where he will begin brain rehabilition, including speech and physical therapy, she said.
Georgia State Patrol reports state that Sharp was struck at approximately 9:44 p.m. on Tuesday, February 5, by a 2005 Crown Victoria driven by Felton Hudson. Reports indicate that after a large wooden catapult had fallen out of Austin’s truck, he turned the truck around on the road, left his bright lights and hazard lights on and apparently exited the truck to inspect the damage to catapult, a class project.
Hudson was traveling toward the front of Sharp’s truck and told authorities he did not know he struck someone. He said, in reports, that after he turned around to see what he had hit, a tractor trailer driven by Union Points Joseph Poss, 60, also struck the catapult. Both drivers then found Austin in a ditch. He was thrown 111 feet in the air from the initial impact.
Austin was air–lifted to Atlanta Medical Center and remains hospitalized.
No charges have been filed in the accident.
The accident has shocked the tight–knit Morgan County High School community.
John Robbins, Morgan County High School head wrestling coach, said Austin was a leader on the wrestling team and a lock for a state championship. “I can say without a doubt that he is the best wrestler I have ever coached in my 10 years of being a varsity head coach. There is not hesitation in stating that he is as good as any wrestler that has ever wrestled for Morgan County, a school rich in wrestling history.”
Last season Austin wrestling career was terminated late in the season with a knee injury. At that point he had beaten every state contender in his weight class. The eventual state champion at Austin’s weight class had already been beaten by Austin. In fact last year, without participating in the state championship, Sharp was still named an All–State pick for the Athens Banner–Herald’s North Georgia All–State squad.
Austin’s record this year is 44 – 3 with four tournament titles. Again, he was the state favorite at the 145 pound weight class.
Robbins said Austin offered leadership and work ethic for the team. “Austin was a true leader that other wrestlers liked and wanted to be like. He had a presence in the room that demanded everyone’s attention,” Robbins said.