justin turner texas tech

Justin Turner Texas Tech: Fraternity Brother and Red Raiders’ Loss

justin turner texas tech
justin turner texas tech

The Inspiring Life and Legacy of Justin Turner Texas Tech Baseball Standout and Organ Donor

Justin Turner was a standout baseball player at Texas Tech University who tragically passed away at age 20 in January 2023. However, Justin left behind an inspiring legacy through his brave decision to be an organ donor. This article explores Justin’s accomplishments as a justin turner Texas Tech athlete as well as how he saved lives even after his untimely death.

Who Was Justin Turner?

Justin “JT” Turner was born in October 2002 in Lubbock, Texas. He was a talented multi-sport athlete at Coronado High School, participating in football, basketball and track. However, baseball was Justin’s passion, which led him to become a member of the varsity team at Texas Tech University (also referred to as Texas Tech).

At Texas Tech, Justin competed as a high jumper for the track and field team while pursuing a major in Energy Commerce. He was also an active and beloved member of the Sigma Chi fraternity on campus. With his magnetic personality, confidence and natural leadership abilities, Justin made close bonds with many fraternity brothers during his college years.

Justin Turner Texas Tech Immediate Impact for the Red Raiders Baseball Team

As soon as he arrived on campus in 2021, Justin earned a spot on the varsity roster and made quick strides as a standout player for the Red Raiders baseball program. Archived records from the Texas Tech Athletics official website show just how instrumental Turner was during his freshman season:

  • Set a new personal best height of 6’9.75″ in the high jump at the Texas Tech Open
  • Helped lead the Red Raiders to multiple invitational wins and a regional appearance
  • Led the entire roster with a .982 fielding percentage
  • Broke the program record for runs scored by a freshman (89)
  • Earned All-Tournament Team honors at the United Heritage Invitational

Turner provided an immediate spark during his first year suiting up for the Red Raiders. In addition to his speed and defensive range in the outfield, Justin showed impressive power from the plate. His breakout performances included:

  • 4 for 5 outing with 2 home runs vs. Incarnate Word
  • 2 doubles and 5 RBI vs. Omaha at the UHI
  • Scored winning run in 7th inning comeback vs. Gonzaga

Justin’s smooth transition and standout plays as a Texas Tech freshman earned praise from coaches and teammates alike. They lauded his baseball IQ, competitive drive, and the joyful energy he brought to the clubhouse.

Dominant Sophomore and Junior Seasons for Turner

Over his second and third years playing for Texas Tech, Justin Turner took his game to even greater heights. He built upon the strong foundation of his freshman season by setting new career-best marks across the board:

Justin Turner’s Texas Tech Career Stats and Awards

YearAverageHitsHome RunsRBIAwards
Freshman.28775634All-Tournament Team (UHI)
PublicSophomore.3421021565All-Regional Team, All-Big 12 Second Team
Junior*.412681139Preseason Big-12 Player of the Year Watchlist

* Justin only completed 12 games of his junior season before his tragic passing.

Some additional accomplishments from Justin’s dominant sophomore and junior campaigns:

  • Went 3 for 5 with 3 home runs vs. UTRGV as a junior
  • Set the school’s single-season hits record (102) as a sophomore
  • Named to All-Big 12 Academic Team both seasons
  • Had 17-game hitting streak spanning sophomore and junior seasons
  • Stole home on a double steal vs. Baylor, sparking comeback win

Justin Turner had clearly cemented himself as one of the top players in Texas Tech baseball history midway through his junior year. Many scouts projected Justin as an early-to-mid round MLB Draft selection following the 2023 college season.

Justin Turner’s Legacy as an Organ Donor

In January 2023, Justin Turner’s incredible life and baseball career were devastatingly cut short just a few days after his 21st birthday. While walking along University Avenue after leaving a fraternity event, Justin was struck by a vehicle around 11 pm.

Justin suffered life-threatening brain injuries from the incident, requiring emergency neurosurgery at University Medical Center in Lubbock. Doctors placed him on life support to stabilize his condition, but the brain trauma proved too severe. On January 17th, 2023, Justin Turner passed away with his loving family by his side after days in critical condition.

While coping with insurmountable grief, Justin’s mother Janice faced an incredibly difficult decision – whether to move forward with Justin’s wish to donate his organs. Janice shared in a public statement:

“My son was an organ donor. At 21 years old, he had just taken his driver’s test in September and got his license. As we were going through all the questions they ask you for your license, he had decided back then that he wanted to be an organ donor. So it was really clear what choice he made.”

Janice honored Justin’s selfless commitment to help others amidst overwhelming heartbreak. On January 19th, doctors successfully completed organ donation procedures, allowing Justin Turner to save numerous lives.

Justin’s gifts as an organ donor included:

  • Heart
  • Lungs
  • Liver
  • Kidneys
  • Pancreas

By courageously signing up as a registered organ donor before his passing, Justin Turner left behind an incredible final act of heroism. His caring nature and community-focused character will continue shining brightly thanks to others now blessed with renewed health.

Community Supporting Turner Family Through Fundraisers

In the aftermath of their tragic loss, the Turner family has received an immense outpouring of support from across Texas and the nation. Friends, teammates, fraternity members, and complete strangers alike have shown acts of kindness and generosity to honor Justin Turner’s memory.

The Sigma Chi fraternity at Texas Tech hosted a candlelight vigil that Justin’s parents attended, providing them comfort. Additionally, a GoFundMe fundraiser called “In Memory of JT Turner” was organized just days after the accident. The account’s initial $20,000 goal was met within 24 hours.

As of February 2023, the GoFundMe had raised over $160,000 from more than 3,000 individual donors. The description highlights that funds will go towards:

  • Memorial service expenses
  • Justin’s outstanding student loans
  • Medical/rehab bills from extended hospital stay
  • Supporting the Turner family

Such an overwhelming financial response indicates the profound community impact Justin made during his 21 vibrant years of life. It also shows appreciation for how he saved multiple lives with his organ donation decision.

Conclusion: Justin Turner’s Lasting Legacy

The sudden loss of someone as kindhearted and gifted as Justin Turner leaves an immense void for all those who knew him. His dynamism, courage, and selflessness touched countless lives throughout his baseball career at Texas Tech and with the Sigma Chi brotherhood.

While nothing can fully heal the pain of Justin’s loved ones after the tragic January 2023 accident, his legacy persists through organ recipients now blessed with hope. By choosing to be an organ donor, Justin manifested the central ethos of Texas Tech – giving of oneself until the very end to lift up others.

Justin Turner exemplified what it means to be a true hero. And the echoes of his positive spirit will continue reverberating for generations to come.

Frequently Asked Questions About Justin Turner

Who was Justin Turner?

Justin “JT” Turner was a standout baseball player at Texas Tech University. He was tragically killed in a January 2023 pedestrian accident at age 21, just months before completing his junior season playing for the Red Raiders.

What were some of Justin’s baseball accomplishments?

Some of Justin’s top accomplishments as a Texas Tech outfielder included breaking the program’s freshman runs record, leading the team in hits and batting average as a sophomore, and earning All-Regional honors. He was poised to be an early MLB Draft pick before his passing.

How did Justin Turner die?

On January 14th, 2023, Justin was struck by a vehicle while walking along University Avenue in Lubbock, Texas after leaving a fraternity event. He suffered severe traumatic brain injuries that proved fatal over the next few days.

How did Justin save lives after his death?

Justin selflessly signed up to be an organ donor when he got his driver’s license in September 2022 at age 21. After his death, Justin’s organs were successfully donated, allowing him to save multiple lives as a heart, lung, liver, kidney, and pancreas donor.

What is Justin Turner’s legacy?

Beyond his accomplishments as a beloved baseball player, Justin Turner leaves behind an inspiring legacy of selflessness. By being an organ donor, his caring spirit continues impacting lives. Fundraisers created in his memory have also raised over $160,000 to support Justin’s family and community.

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