Horiuchi remains in critical condition
By Wes Nakama
Advertiser Staff Writer
Former Kamehameha Schools and Purdue University softball standout Liane Horiuchi remained in critical condition yesterday but is now responsive, according to close friends.
Horiuchi, 23, is recovering from multiple surgeries over the weekend after suffering internal injuries in an automobile accident late Friday night in northwest Indiana.
Diane Lloyd, a spokeswoman for Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis, said Horiuchi's condition was "still critical" as of 9:15 p.m. Sunday, but Ty Sing Chow — who coached Horiuchi at Kamehameha from 2001 through 2005 — said one of her close friends from high school told him Horiuchi showed signs of improvement yesterday.
"She's still critical, but (more) stable," said Sing Chow, adding the information came via Horiuchi's calabash uncle. "She's responsive, they said she can move her hands. They fixed her pelvic bone, but it might take three months to heal, maybe longer."
Sing Chow said Horiuchi was still bleeding internally late Saturday night, but the bleeding stopped after surgery on Sunday. Horiuchi underwent multiple surgeries Saturday and another one Sunday to repair injuries to her pelvic bone, spleen and lungs, according to Glenn Jicha, her former Mililani Prep club coach.
She reportedly was airlifted to Methodist Hospital after a van she was riding in with three others went off the road and crashed into a utility pole at around 10:39 p.m. west of Brookston, Ind., about eight miles north of Purdue's campus in West Lafayette.
According to a TV news report yesterday on WLFI in West Lafayette, state police said Horiuchi's Purdue teammate, Kayla Yates, was driving the van and turned to talk to someone in the back seat. The van then pulled off the side of the road, and when Yates tried to correct the mistake, the van hit some water and she lost control, police said. When the van hit the pole, Horiuchi was ejected.
Yates and the front seat passenger suffered minor injuries and were treated and released. Horiuchi, seated in the right rear, reportedly was the only one critically injured. WLFI quoted Indiana State Police sergeant Kim Riley as saying some of Horiuchi's injuries may have been prevented had she been wearing a seat belt. Riley told WLFI that alcohol was most likely not a factor in the crash.
A spokeswoman at Indiana State Police Lafayette District 14 confirmed the WLFI report with The Advertiser last night.
Horiuchi was a three-time Advertiser All-State second baseman at Kamehameha and began her college career at Tennessee, helping the Volunteers to two College World Series appearances. She transferred to Purdue after that season and finished her senior year this month as the school record holder in stolen bases.