Preps

Tuesday, May 13 2014 08:16 PM

Tehachapi baseball coach in critical condition after being struck by line drive

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    Chris Olofson

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By THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN

Tehachapi High baseball coach Chris Olofson was struck in the head by a line drive during Tuesday's Division III playoff game and was taken to Kern Medical Center.

Tehachapi High athletic director Pat Snyder said Olofson was in critical condition with a fractured skill and bleeding on the brain.

A KMC spokesman declined to confirm Olofson's condition or injury details, but confirmed Olofson was at the KMC emergency room.

Olofson was struck by the line drive in the bottom of the fourth inning of Tehachapi's 10-5 home playoff win over Highland.

"He's heavily sedated and sleeping," Snyder said.

Tom Shea, who supplies The Californian with Tehachapi sports items throughout the past several years, said he had heard that surgery was considered, "but the doctor opted against it."

"They want him to sleep. They're taking it hour by hour to see how he does," Shea said. "It's not a good situation. It's pretty serious."

Shea said Olofson was conscious but incoherent before the ambulance arrived at Tehachapi High's baseball field.

Initially, Olofson was to be airlifted from Tehachapi High to Bakersfield, according to Highland coach Rick Sawyer.

"But they decided it would be faster to drive him than wait for a helicopter to come from Bakersfield," Sawyer said.

"Oh my God, it was unbelievable," Sawyer said.

Tehachapi principal Scott Heitman confirmed that Olofson regained consciousness when he was moved to an ambulance but declined further comment, referring further details to Lisa Gilbert, superintendent for Tehachapi Unified School District.

Gilbert could not be reached for comment.

Follow Bakersfield.com or on Twitter @BVarsityLive for more updates on this story as it becomes available.

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