2017-09-28 / Front Page

Coach seriously injured by fallen tree

By Amy Hubbell
Of The Enterprise staff


THE COMMUNITY is rallying around the Randy Weber family after their patriarch was severely injured in a wood-cutting accident. Pictured before the accident (from left) is son, Andrew Weber; Weber and his wife, Yvonne and daughters Amber, Alyssa and Abby. THE COMMUNITY is rallying around the Randy Weber family after their patriarch was severely injured in a wood-cutting accident. Pictured before the accident (from left) is son, Andrew Weber; Weber and his wife, Yvonne and daughters Amber, Alyssa and Abby. Randy Weber went to the woods to take care of a widowmaker tree.

The tree nearly lived up to its name.

Weber, 54, is in the intensive care unit at Munson Medical Center recovering from an accident earlier this month that could have easily taken his life.

“He told me he was going to the woods, so I thought he was looking to see what to cut down — not cutting,” said his wife, Yvonne.

Weber is known throughout the peninsula for his success in leading Glen Lake baseball teams to conference and regional championships.

It was shortly before 7 p.m. on Sept. 12 when Weber headed out with chainsaw in hand near his Centerville Township home. Not long after, his son Andrew returned home from Cedar and went to the woods to find his father. But he wasn’t in his usual spot.

“Andrew had a feeling something was wrong and went to look for him,” his mother said.

The young Weber visited an alternate site between Hohnke and Bodus roads, but still didn’t find his father’s truck. So, he stopped, turned off his vehicle and listened. It was then that he heard his father’s call for help.

Andrew called 911 and Cedar Fire & Rescue responded to the scene.

“They think he laid there for 30 or 40 minutes after the tree fell on him,” Yvonne Weber said.

Rather than falling in its intended path, the tree fell on Weber — striking him on the right side his body — from head to below the knee.

It is believed that he lay unconscious on the forest floor for about 10 minutes before starting to yell for help.

Weber’s injuries include a broken back, eight broken ribs, a broken shoulder blade, concussion and a complete tear of a tendon in his right knee.

“Initially, we were told his back was broken in three places,” Weber’s daughter Amber said. “This increased to five when they took an MRI.”

In the two weeks since the accident, Weber’s short-term memory has been affected. He has had surgery to reattach the tendon in his knee. But he will need to remain flat on his back for a minimum of six weeks, to allow the breaks in his back time to heal.

“After six weeks, they will re-evaluate him,” Yvonne Weber said, adding that the nursing staff at Munson has been fantastic. “There’s no way they can do surgery now.”

Following neurosurgery, Weber is expected to go through weeks of rehabilitation.

In the meantime, Weber’s wife and children have asked that friends and acquaintances not visit him while he’s in intensive care.

“He needs to behave and stay still,” Yvonne Weber said.

Keeping people away could be tough as Randy Weber many friends locally and throughout the state playing the game of baseball.

Weber played baseball for Glen Lake and went on to become head coach, amassing a 207-78 record. His Laker teams won six Northwest Conference championships, four district titles, three regional titles and advanced to the Class D state semifinals in 2001. As coach at T-C West, Weber amassed a 101-65 record and won two district titles.

He is also a member of the Michigan High School Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame.

Since the accident, there’s been an outpouring of support from his family and the county community at large.

“The response from friends, family, community, former players and coaches, and his parish — Holy Rosary — has been astounding,” Weber’s sister Trudy Galla said. “Everyone is so thankful for all the help.”

The wood that Weber was so anxious to collect for the coming winter was cut and split during a family work bee organized by his brother, Bryan.

Soybeans and corn on the Weber farm on Schomberg Road will be harvested by his son Andrew and brother Tom. They will also be tending to some 30 head of beef cattle and calves on the farm.

“He has also had offers from friends all across Michigan to help, if needed,” Galla said.

A benefit dinner and silent auction for the Webers will be held Saturday, Oct. 21, at St. Rita parish hall in Maple City.

The menu for the 4 p.m. event will include a taco bar, pulled pork, potatoes, baked beans, and various side dishes and desserts.

There is no admission. However, a free will offering is suggested.

Silent auction items include a handmade 8-foot picnic table; a basket of hunting gear and trail camera; and four tickets to a 2018 Tiger game. The seats are located behind the team’s dugout.

A GoFundMe account has also been established in Weber’s name and can be found at gofundme.com/randyweber.

Donations can also be sent to the Webers at P.O. Box 321, Cedar, MI 49621.

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