A Montgomery teenager is still unresponsive more than a week after an SUV crash sent him to UAB Hospital, according to a family friend of the victim.
Austin Houck, 16, was one of seven teenagers in an SUV that hit a tree on a private road just off Bienville Road in Montgomery Nov. 5. The students were reportedly supposed to be in school at the time of the crash.
The point of impact was right where Austin was sitting. He has already undergone pelvic surgery and still needs surgery on his jaw. Doctors are moving cautiously because the injury to his brain is so severe, said Sheryl Bowles, a longtime family friend.
"This has been life altering. It's flipped our world upside down. It's not something you don't know what people go through until you have a teenager that's in this situation fighting for his life," Bowles said. "It could be months and months and months before we know, and if he does come out of it, he'll be bedridden for three months for the pelvic surgery before he can even start trying to do rehab."
Now friends and family are doing what they can to help. A yard sale, bake sale and camp stew sale are planned for this weekend. The fundraiser starts at 6 a.m. Saturday at 14 Forest Hills Dr.
A total of six teenagers were sent to the hospital following the crash last week. One of the teens was upgraded to non-life-threatening condition. There is no condition update on the others. The seventh victim walked away from the crash.
The crash investigation is ongoing and MPD says it cannot offer any specific information about why the driver lost control before striking a tree.
On the scene, Lt. Matthew Mara did say the type of road the teens were on most likely played a part in the crash.
"When you drive on a dirt road, the vehicle has a tendency to lose traction just because of loose gravel, loose dirt," Mara said. "You do not get the same traction you get on a paved road."