DeAntre Turman, top Georgia football prospect, dies after breaking neck in preseason scrimmage
By Cameron Smith | Prep Rally – Sun, Aug 18, 2013 1:41 PM EDT
DeAntre Turman, on left, died after breaking his neck during a tackle in a scrimmage — TwitterTragedy struck suburban Atlanta when a high school football player died during a preseason scrimmage after he made a tackle and suffered a broken neck.
As reported by CBS Atlanta, WSB-TV, the Associated Press and other sources, College Park (Ga.) Creekside High star DeAntre "Tre Tre" Turman was injured while being involved in a tackle during a preseason scrimmage against Bannecker (Ga.) High. According to Fulton County medical examiners, the junior cornerback suffered a broken neck, with a fracture of his third cervical vertebra.
Disturbingly, relatives and others who saw the tackle take place insist that the hit was a completely normal one, right up to the point where Truman didn’t get up off the turf.
"He tackled the guy," Turman's uncle, Kenneth Turman, told CBS Atlanta. "It was just a hard hit -- a regular hit that he’s made 1,000 times."
One of Creekside's football coaches, Glenn Ford, gave more details about the play to WSB.
"Tre broke on it, dislodged the ball and his body just went limp. [He] immediately just went limp and he was on the ground," said coach Glenn Ford.
He ran over, but Turman wasn't breathing.
"(We were) calling out his name, just trying to get him to come back to open his eyes up to move until the ambulance got there," Ford said.
Medical officials on the scene noted that Turman was suffering breathing issues as he lay on the turf following the hit, and he was immediately transported to a nearby emergency room. He was pronounced dead hours later.
Turman's death comes as a complete shock both to his family and the larger Georgia and prep football community. The Creekside star had received significant recruiting attention and had recently been awarded a scholarship offer from Kentucky, among interest from other Division I programs.
Now, those he left behind find themselves planning a shocking funeral for one of the school’s most beloved student athletes. Grief counselors have been made available to Creekside students, though that will hardly soften the blow of Turman's sudden loss.
"People knew Tre Tre," Ford told WSB. "They knew and loved him."