Atlanta-area football player dies after a tackle during a scrimmage game
Deantre Turman went limp and unresponsive after the play, CNN affilate WSB reports
The 16-year-old loved being a competitor, his guardian tells the station
Such deaths are rare -- fewer than three occur on average each year, a report says
A suburban Atlanta high school football player has died from injuries suffered while making a tackle during a scrimmage game, according to medical examiners.
Deantre Turman’s death came Friday after he made a tackle during a pre-season game, said Mike Alsip, a forensic investigator for the Fulton County Medical Examiner’s Office. The teenager broke his neck, Alsip said.
The accident happened at a school in the Atlanta suburb of College Park, Georgia, according to CNN affiliate WSB.
His coach, Glenn Ford, told the station that Turman – a cornerback known to friends as “Tre Tre” – went immediately limp and unresponsive after the play.
Coaches and others tried without success to revive him during what Ford said was a 15-minute wait for an ambulance.
The young athlete was pronounced dead at a hospital about an hour and 15 minutes after the accident, according to Alsip.
Turman, 16, was popular and well-regarded, Ford said.
“People knew Tre Tre. They knew and loved him,” Ford said, according to the station.
Tarsha Keller, the woman who raised Turman since his mother died when he was just 4 years old, told WSB that the teen died doing what he loved.
“Being the competitor and playing different sports made him happy,” Keller told WSB.
Deaths from high school football are exceedingly rare.
Over the last 10 years, an average of fewer than three boys a year have died from on-field injuries playing high school football, according to the National Center for Catastrophic Sport Injury Research at the University of North Carolina.
No players died in 2012, the first time that had happened since 1994, according to the center.
CNN’s Michael Pearson contributed to this report.