High School Association investigates football player's death - CBS46 News

High School Association investigates football player's death

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THOMASTON, GA (CBS46) -

The death of a Fulton County high school football player has sparked a state investigation.

DeAntre Turman suffered a broken neck on Friday night during a scrimmage. He was rushed to the hospital, but didn't survive.

The tackle where Turman broke his neck was described as a regular football tackle - something he had done dozens of times in the past, which is what makes the death so shocking.

"It's not something you see very often. I've been around football my whole life. I've played, I've coached it, and never saw anything like it," said Fulton County Athletic Director Steven Craft.

As shocking as it was to see their star player not getting up, Craft said the coaches were quick to respond and the two EMTs on site weren't too far behind.

"We want two people there to work as a team. Be there and be able to help each other and support each other when dealing with things like this," said Craft.

And it didn't take them long to figure out something was seriously wrong.

"He was not talking so they diagnosed pretty quickly that they could possibly have a neck or possibly a back injury, and so that's how they treated it," said Craft.

There was no ambulance at the field, something that has gotten some criticism, but the Georgia High School Association said that's just not feasible.

"Metro Atlanta or even rural areas, they won't designate an ambulance. They just can't lock in an emergency vehicle," said Ralph Swearngin, the executive director of the GHSA.

That doesn't mean changes might not come out of this tragedy because the GHSA has launched an investigation.

"We collect the data and send it on to determine what was going on when the event happened," said Swearngin.

Investigators will be looking at a little bit of everything: where the tackle happened on the field, when it happened, what type of equipment he was wearing, what other players were doing and much more.

It won't help bring Turman back, but it could help prevent similar injuries from happening in the future.

"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," said Swearngin.

This death is of course getting a lot of attention here locally, but Swearngin said it could get national attention and even catch a few eyes of members of Congress. He said concussion injuries are already under the microscope, and he wouldn't be surprised to see it expanded to neck injuries.

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