‘Just like a son’
Dalton State head basketball coach Tony Ingle rushed to the hospital when he heard his almost 24-year-old assistant was injured in the wreck. Ingle was there waiting for him by the time he arrived in intensive care.
“He’s just like a son,” Ingle said. “It’s more than just a coach and assistant coach. I just love him.”
As of late Wednesday, Redman remained on a respirator, and doctors were continuing to monitor a serious head injury.
Ingle said he and Redman have been the two-man leadership for the basketball program, which went 26-4 this past season. He said Redman is “highly organized,” “very personable,” and “just like a sponge picking up and learning as much as he can.”
“I don’t know if he’s got a weakness, to be honest with you,” Ingle said.
Kirk said doctors inserted a feeding tube into Redman. He remained heavily sedated but is not in a coma, she said. He can wiggle his toes and fingers. Doctors didn’t know Wednesday what kind of lasting damage, if any, the wreck had caused.
Kirk said she still feels overwhelmed at losing Huber and at her son’s tragic injuries. She struggled for words to adequately express how deeply she appreciated the Ingles being there for Redman while she and other family members worked to catch a plane from their home in Texas.
“I was going to get in my car and drive, but he just kept me informed on everything that happened,” she said of Coach Ingle. “They were here before John was even admitted to the ICU room ... John had so much love right here at this hospital ... That just makes me feel really proud. I feel indebted to them.”
Kirk said she feels indebted to Laura, too. Laura told the family she also helped get the couple’s little white dog, Paige, which was trapped under the steering column and injured from shattered glass, to a veterinarian.
When Laura was in a severe car wreck several years ago, stranger after stranger passed by her when she needed help, Kirk said. Those memories came rushing back when Laura saw the Lexus slam into the concrete wall as she came from the opposite direction. She quickly turned her vehicle around and went to them.
“She said she just knew on that day and at that time she was supposed to be headed that direction and she was there to help Brittany and to help John,” Kirk said.
Georgia State Patrol spokesman Tracey Watson said a specialized collision reconstruction team will recreate the wreck over the next several weeks to determine exactly what happened.
“(Redman) driving too fast for conditions is the primary contributing factor,” Watson said.
Information on how fast Redman was driving wasn’t immediately available. Officials have said the road was wet at the time of the crash, but the wreck isn’t weather-related.
Dalton State Athletic Director Derek Waugh said more than a dozen family and friends were at the hospital supporting Redman and one another. He and Ingle asked for prayers for both families. College officials said counselors are available to help students deal with the tragedy, and Waugh said athletes are supporting one another, but their main concern is for their family rather than themselves.
“This is by far the most tragic thing that has happened to our young athletic department,” he said.
It’s a tragedy family members hope Redman will be able to physically recover from. They say they’re grateful for the community’s outpouring of support — and for the support of Laura and her kindness and prayer.
“And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from all evil,” Laura prayed on Monday as she joined the couple’s hands to one another. “For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory for ever and ever. Amen.”