A Barton Community College baseball player remains in critical condition after a one-car traffic accident near Andale during the early-morning hours on Sunday, July 8.
Allen Trent, a sophomore-to-be at Barton and a Colwich native who prepped at Andale, is in St. Francis Hospital in Wichita, recovering from serious injuries sustained in the crash.
“Allen Trent was in a one-car accident,” Barton head coach Mike Warren said. “He was coming home from some friend’s house, and we’re not really sure what happened or what caused it.
“He might have fallen asleep and went off the side (of the road) on the shoulder and woke up and tried to correct it. He lost control and didn’t have a seat belt on and he went through the windshield of the car.”
In this particular instance, not having his seat belt clicked saved Trent’s life, according to Warren, along with the sculpted 6-foot-4, 230-pound outfielder’s frame.
“His mother (April Jonker) and I talked about that,” Warren said. “She said she’s always on him to put his seat belt on and he won’t do it. Well, there are certain circumstances where if you get thrown out of a car, you’re in better shape than if you stay in and this was one of them.
“There isn’t an ounce of fat on him. Probably the only thing that saved him was how he’s built and his work ethic, building himself up strong.”
Warren said Trent’s Saturn rolled and ended up in the ditch, the roof of the car crushed.
“It’s not a very good commercial for wearing your seat belt, but looking at the car, had he had his seat belt on and stayed in the car, he wouldn’t have made it out of the car,” Warren said. “There’s no way, so it’s one of those things. The roof was down where the windows roll down, down to the seat of the car.”
According to Warren, an Andale fire chief heard the wreck from his home.
“He went to check on it and found him in the middle of the road,” Warren said of Trent, who was life-flighted to St. Francis. “Where he had swelling on the brain, they had to immediately put rods in his head and try to release some pressure.
“Just this past Thursday (July 12), he started showing signs of improving a little bit. He’s in critical condition right now. He’s out of the woods, as far as the brain injury is concerned. He was unconscious for eight days and finally woke up on Monday (July 16) and obviously was confused. He didn’t know where he was, didn’t know what happened and didn’t know why he was there.”
Warren said Trent is now dealing with staph infection.
“Now the worry is, he’s got staph infection in his right lung, a lot of fluid in his right lung, and he can’t move his right arm,” Warren said. “It looks like he landed on his head and on his right side.
“Definitely not out of the woods yet. I talk to his mother every day, and this is a kid whose stepfather (Matt Jonker), who brought him up and raised him, passed away during the baseball season last spring in March from a heart attack. He was only 45 years old.”
The Barton family has helped Trent’s mother stay strong in these difficult times. He is her only son.
“His mother and him have gone through a lot and prayers are with him,” Warren said. “I’ve seen him a couple times and I’m going to go back and see him again (today). The thing about it is, it happened early on a Sunday morning and by Sunday afternoon, the whole waiting room at St. Francis was full of Barton baseball players.
“We have a lot of players that are playing in Wichita this summer and we have a lot that are from the Wichita area. Our family — our team family — is pretty close. My prayer for him is that he makes a full recovery. There wasn’t any brain damage, and now it’s just trying to get through this staph infection and figuring out if anything else is hurt.”
Warren said Trent has been able to speak to his mother on a limited basis.
“He has talked to his mother a little bit, but it’s hard for him to talk because he has so many tubes in his throat,” Warren said. “He’s got a feeding tube in him right now. He had a big cut on the back of his head and one underneath his chin. They had to put a neck brace on him so he couldn’t move his head, and that neck brace rested on the cut on his chin and that’s been uncomfortable.
“He doesn’t look good. It’s not something you want to see, but at the same time, he’s a fighter and has been fighting and I have a lot of faith that he’s going to make a full recovery, I hope. It’s been rough.”
Warren said Jonker told him in a telephone conversation on Wednesday evening that Trent’s heart rate accelerated rapidly earlier in the day.
“They got him out of his bed and put him in a chair,” Warren said. “All of a sudden, everything went to normal. His heart rate went down to normal. His temperature went down and he was conscious.
“He made gestures to his mom and his grandparents. He also threw a baseball with his left hand four times to one of his nephews, so they’re really encouraged by that. It was the first time he had been out of bed since the accident. They got a hoist and hoisted him over to a chair.”
Trent was a left-handed power-hitting first baseman and outfielder, as well as a pitcher, for the Cougars this past spring.
Appearing in 33 of their 59 games, he hit .228 in 101 at-bats. He had eight doubles — tied for fourth on the team — and hit three homers — third on the squad. He had 22 runs batted in.
He posted a 2-0 record on the mound in six appearances as a reliever.