Last Friday, De’Antre Turman, a 16 year old student at Creekside
High School in Fulton County, Georgia died from neck injuries which he
sustained during a football scrimmage. Turman, an 11th grader set to graduate
in 2015, was a star high school football player who had recently been
awarded an athletic scholarship to the University of Kentucky.
Based on observers’ accounts, Turman’s injuries occurred during
a routine tackle. Glenn Ford, the football player’s off season coach,
was watching from the sidelines when the accident occurred. He later told
WSBTV that Turman’s body suddenly went limp and that he fell to
A report issued by the Fulton County Coroner’s Office stated that
Turman’s cause of death was a
fractured third vertebra, commonly referred to as a broken neck.
In 2009, another Georgia high school student lost his life as a result
of football related injuries. Roy White was a running back for the Cook
High School football team in Cook County, Georgia. He was killed as a
result of an impact to his chest from a tackle during football practice.
Football injuries called result in death, but also paralysis of the extremities
and the lungs.
According to a statement by Ralph Swearngin, executive director of the
Georgia High School Association, these two accidents are the only football
related fatalities that have occurred within the state over the past decade.
However, in addition to death, football accidents can also lead to serious
injuries. Dr. Daniel Sciubba, who serves as an assistant professor of
Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins University, explains that injuries to the
third vertebra, such as the one experienced by Turman, can also result
in paralysis of the arms and the lungs.
Some injuries are caused by negligence on the part of school administrators.
Sometimes football injuries leading to paralysis occur due to
inadequate supervision by school staff and administrators, or because of defects in protective
equipment. For instance, in 2007 a high school senior in New York was
left paralyzed from the waist down after fracturing a vertebra during
a football scrimmage. The student filed a lawsuit against the jurisdiction’s
Department of Education, the Parks Department and the Public Schools Athletic
League alleging that his injuries were caused by inadequate and improper
supervision, improper training, and a lack of sufficient medical personnel
at the game. The lawsuit settled out of court for $8 million.
If your loved one has been killed or injured in a school sporting accident,
contact an attorney immediately. An attorney can review the circumstances of your loved ones
accident and determine whether someone else’s negligence was responsible
for your loved ones injuries. If so, an attorney can help you seek damages
in order to compensate you and your loved one for the losses you sustained.