Illinois State Police continue to investigate a truck-train crash that left UFC Hall of Famer Matt Hughes hospitalized.
Officers from the Traffic Crash Reconstruction Unit hope to speak to Hughes to find out what happened when his truck was struck last Friday by a train on Beeler Trail in Montgomery County, Ill.
Officers are waiting to see if his condition improves so they can interview him, ISP public information officer Jason Bradley told MMAjunkie. They’re also waiting toxicology results from the hospital where he was airlifted following the accident.
“If he obviously is in a position where they think he’s going to pull through, the investigation will continue, because they’re going to want to interview him,” Bradley said. “They’re going to go back and recreate everything they can up to that point. They’re going to wait for toxicology tests to come back.
“There really is no time frame, because a lot of times, a majority of the investigation will be completed, but they’re waiting on one thing before they can close it.”
Hughes, 43, a native of Hillsboro, Ill., remains in stable condition at HSHS St. John’s Hospital in Springfield. In a statement released Sunday, his sister Beth Ulrici said Hughes has no broken bones or internal injuries, yet is not awake and not responding. He is on a ventilator.
UFC President Dana White told ESPN.com that Hughes had suffered head trauma.
The Hughes family was recently contacted by the Triumph Over Tragedy Foundation, a nonprofit whose mission is to “support the family unit through biblical principles from the initial impact of a tragedy of illness.” According to a person close to the family, who asked for anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation, Triumph founder Reggie Jones has offered to evaluate Hughes and get him transferred to the Shepherd Center in Atlanta, a facility that specializes in traumatic brain injuries.
Hughes’ truck reportedly was struck on the passenger side after he crossed the railroad tracks directly in front of the train. The crossing did not have a barricade and was marked only with a sign. Bradley did not have any information on the train involved in the accident.
Bradley said Hughes was unconscious when first responders got to him Friday morning and was immediately airlifted to Springfield. The hospital said in a statement, “Hughes’ family asks that you respect their privacy during this difficult time. They ask that you keep Matt in your thoughts and prayers.”
One of the greatest welterweights in MMA history, Hughes (45-9 MMA, 18-7 UFC) is a UFC Hall of Famer and two-time champion, holding the title from 2001-2004 and 2004-2006, defending his belt on seven different occasions. He most recently fought in 2011, losing via knockout to Josh Koscheck, which marked the second straight time he’d been knocked out after a previous loss to UFC Hall of Famer B.J. Penn.
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