|Updated: 10/08/2012 11:24 am
||Published: 10/07/2012 9:43 am
UPDATE: Matt Turner's funeral arrangements are as follows:
Visitation will be held on October 9 from 6-8 pm.
The funeral will be held on October 10 at 1:00 pm.
The visitation and funeral are both open to the public and will be held at 3rd Street Baptist Church in Arkadelphia, where Turner's father pastored for many years.
LITTLE ROCK, AR - A fiery crash on Interstate 30 claimed the life of local television news anchor Matt Turner late Saturday. Arkansas State Police say the accident happened near the 111 mile marker.
Turner, 32, of Little Rock was westbound when his vehicle veered off the right side of the highway. State police investigators say the Chevy Tahoe Turner was driving slammed into the concrete base of a sign and caught fire.
It was raining and the road was wet at the time of the crash.
Turner, an Arkadelphia native and stand-out athlete, played football at Southern Mississippi and Ouachita Baptist University. He met his wife, Julee, at OBU. They have a ten-month-old daughter, Preslee.
Sunday, Turner's family released this statement:
"Matt was a man of integrity and had a strong faith in God. While we are deeply saddened and feel a sense of great loss, we know that God will pull us through this very difficult time. We appreciate the support so many have already given and ask that you would remember us in your thoughts and prayers."
Before joining Today's THV in September, Turner spent nine years at a Northwest Arkansas television station.
Turner is survived by his wife, daughter, mother and brother.
FOX16 offers our condolences to the family of Matt Turner and to our friends and colleagues at KTHV.
Statement from KTHV
Today's THV is heartbroken to announce we have lost one of our own.
Matt Turner died in a crash on I-30 Saturday night. State police say his vehicle ran off the interstate and hit a highway sign.
Matt joined Today's THV in September, coming to us from television station KNWA in northwest Arkansas, where he spent nine years on the anchor desk. But he's been part of this state his whole life.
Born and reared in Arkadelphia, Matt played baseball and football for Arkadelphia High School. Being a two-year starter for the Arkadelphia Badgers led him to quarterback for Southern Mississippi, then after one year in Hattiesburg he transferred to his hometown to play starting quarterback for Ouachita Baptist University where he met his wife, Julee. They have a daughter, Preslee Bell, who is 10 months old.
When Matt joined Today's THV, he said, "My wife and I are coming home and now I'm a part of a television station that I grew up watching. My mom and family will see me covering the Little Rock area and that will be one of the greatest joys of my life. I'm more motivated than ever to serve my fellow Arkansans by providing informative, entertaining and quality news! I'm dedicated to making a positive difference at Today's THV and I can't wait to get started."
In his journalism career in Arkansas Matt earned several honors, including the NWA Business Journal's 40 under 40 list. He hosted statewide debates for senate and congressional races, covered breaking news, wrote, shot and produced countless stories as well as documentaries and he knew newsmakers throughout Arkansas. He took pride in the many relationships he's built with so many Arkansans, from sports figures to politicians to neighbors.
In addition to his wife Julee and 10-month-old daughter Preslee Bell, Matt is survived by his mother, Lisa, and his brother, Andy.
Matt's late father was long time pastor of 3rd Street Baptist Church in Arkadelphia.
Matt was incredibly dedicated to his family. For the first two years after the passing of his father, Matt drove from Fayetteville to Arkadelphia every weekend to be with his mother and brother. Those that knew him best know he was a great husband, dad, son, brother and friend. He genuinely cared for others.
Matt's family released the following statement Sunday morning:
"Matt always loved and protected his family and his greatest asset was his love for his daughter Preslee. He always put his family and friends ahead of himself and was constantly thinking ahead and planning on their behalf. Matt was a man of integrity and had a strong faith in God. While we are deeply saddened and feel a sense of great loss, we know that God will pull us through this very difficult time. We appreciate the support so many have already given and ask that you would remember us in your thoughts and prayers."
Matt quickly became a friend to all here at Today's THV. We enjoyed his humor and admired his dedication to family and community.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Matt's family and friends.