Davidson College baseball coach Dick Cooke was seriously injured Tuesday night when his van was struck from behind by a speeding driver on I-77 north, near I-485 in Charlotte.
The wreck was reported around 9:20 p.m. Both vehicles reportedly went off the highway, and the N.C. Department of Transportation reported that two lanes were closed late Tuesday. The state highway patrol responded along with other medical and rescue units.
Both Mr. Cooke and the driver of the other car were hospitalized.
Mr. Cooke, who lives in Davidson and has coached baseball at the college for 22 years, suffered multiple injuries, including a broken leg and kneecap, broken ribs, a punctured lung, and cuts on his head, according to a close friend. He was in intensive care at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte. Doctors told his family he was “stable,” and is expected to recover.
A state highway patrol report was not complete on Wednesday and state police could not be reached to discuss the crash. Other news outlets reported that alcohol may have been involved.
The force of the collision spun Mr. Cooke’s car around and sent it sideways into a tree, according to the friend. A state trooper told Mr. Cooke’s family that the other driver, a woman, may have been drinking, the friend said.
Besides coaching Mr. Cooke also has been an auxiliary coach on two U.S. Olympic teams.
Sept. 18, 2012, WBTV.com, “Two injured in crash on I-77; alcohol may have been a factor”
Sept. 19, 2012, WCNC.com, “Speed blamed for accident that injured two”
Aug. 15, 2008, DavidsonNews.net, “Cats’ baseball coach, with Team USA, blogs from Beijing”