FAIRBURN, Ga. (AP) - The death of a suburban Atlanta high school player who suffered a spinal cord injury during a preseason football game has prompted an investigation by Georgia authorities.
De’Antre Turman, a 16-year-old junior at Creekside High School in Fairburn, Ga., fractured a vertebrae in his upper spinal cord during a scrimmage Friday night, investigators in the Atlanta area’s Fulton County Medical Examiner’s officials have said.
Georgia High School Association Executive Director Ralph Swearngin told CBS Atlanta on Monday that among other things, the agency will investigate what type of equipment Turman was wearing.
“As we evolve our rules and policies, it’s good to have data driving those decisions, not just someone in a room saying this is what we need to do,” he told the television station.
One of Turman’s coaches from an after-school college prep program told WXIA-TV that the teen appeared to go limp immediately after tackling the receiver from the opposing team.
“It was a fundamental tackle,” Glenn Ford told the television station, adding that the teen’s head was up at the time of impact and nothing appeared to be out of the ordinary about Turman’s technique.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that Turman - nicknamed “Tre Tre” - had already been offered a scholarship to the University of Kentucky.
“His goal was to play pro football,” Turman’s former coach George Purvis told WXIA-TV.
A vigil was held for the teen at a suburban Atlanta recreation center on Sunday night.
“He lived by football, family, friends, and God,” one of Turman’s friends, Jamari Benning, told the Atlanta newspaper. “That’s all Tre Tre was thinking about. He always had a goal to always be great. He was never stingy, selfish; he was just a good person and a role model. He never had any doubt in God.”
Another friend of Turman’s said he couldn’t be upset with the circumstances surrounding the teen’s death because he died doing something he loved.
“God has a plan for us and the rest of the family,” Demarcus Morgan told the newspaper. “Maybe this is just what we need to bring us closer as a family.”