SHS alum, Army Ranger recovering after wreck


Captain Matt Savage is recovering in an Alabama hospital following a motorcycle wreck on July 3 on his way home from Fort Benning, Georgia. (Submitted photo)

By: 
RYAN PHILLIPS
SDN EDITOR

A 28-year-old U.S. Army Ranger and Starkville native is recovering in an Alabama hospital after a motorcycle wreck earlier this month. 

Captain Matt Savage was traveling from Fort Benning, Georgia,  on July 3 when he was involved in a collision with an 18-wheeler in Autauga County, Alabama. 

Savage’s mother, Christy Savage, told the Starkville Daily News that her son was eventually taken to Birmingham for treatment, but had four surgeries over the course of seven days. 

“It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life,” she said. “It’s been one step at a time, there for several days it was just one hour at a time.”

Matt Savage is a 2009 graduate of Starkville High School and a 2013 graduate of the United States Military Academy in West Point, where he attended on a rifle scholarship. 

After enlisting in the U.S. Army, Savage was deployed in August 2015 to Jalalabad in the Nangarhar Province of Afghanistan until July 2016. He was a platoon leader in 3rd Squadron, 89th Cavalry Regiment - 3rd Brigade, 10th Mountain Division. 

Matt is currently a student in Maneuver Captains Career Course at Fort Benning. 

While her son is being treated for his injures in Birmingham, Christy expressed her gratitude to the West Point family and the U.S. Army, along with a host of friends, family and others in the community. 

“We’ve been overwhelmed by the support,” she said. “We can’t adequately say ‘thank you’ enough but the Army does take care of their own. 

Matt is recovering in the hospital now, but Christy said she was struck with fear for several hours the day of the wreck when she had not heard from her son. 

“We contacted Highway Patrol (in Alabama), we knew which way Matt was coming home,” she said. “So I was getting worried when he wasn’t meeting us at the time he agreed upon and I was getting worried so we decided to call highway patrol.”

She then said the dispatcher they spoke with in Tuscaloosa, who said there were no wrecks in that particular district. But they checked for others in the state, which is how they located Matt. 

From around 3:30 p.m. until 9 p.m. the hours of radio silence and uncertainty underscored the importance of one “old school” concept that Christy said should be incorporated by everyone - hand written emergency contact information. 

Christy then said her son made the switch from a large wallet, to a smaller money clip/credit card holder, and while he had emergency contacts in his phone, there was no way for emergency personnel to directly contact his family when he was en route to the hospital after the wreck. 

“It’s a mama’s worst nightmare,” she said. “If I can share with anybody on this journey that we’re going on, handwritten old school contact information in your wallet. Have it written down because the Army also had one digit off on our area code. That took longer. And they learned from that too, in the course he was taking, they all pulled their contact information. Someone just keyed it in wrong, an honest mistake, but that slowed the process of us finding him. When his colonel called to tell me, we already knew.” 

She then said Matt is communicating with facial expressions at the moment, but she thinks he will soon have his voice back. At this point, they are not sure what the rehabilitation regimen would look like as Matt slowly recovers. 

“We’ve laughed and said his strong will, stubbornness, determination, hard headedness is going to work all in his favor as he is rehabbing through all of this,” she said. 

Once he is back in commission, Christy said she thinks he will want to go right back to work and serve 20 years in the military. 

“If you are wired for the military there is no changing it,” she said. “I feel like he’s going to want to get right back in the game in terms of work. He already had orders that once he finished his current class he was supposed to go to Ft. Carson in Colorado, which is where he wanted to go.” 

An account has been set up at Regions Bank locations in Starkville to help defray costs for Matt’s care and rehabilitation. For information on how to donate, contact Barbara Coats at (662)-418-7957 or Mitchell Norden of Regions Bank at 662-324-4804. 

For updates on Matt’s recovery, visit the “Prayers for Matt Savage” Facebook page. 

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