A Tolar High School graduate who died Saturday in a traffic accident is remembered as a young man with a sharp wit and an inquisitive mind.
Joseph “Ryan” Turner, 19, of the 1000 block of Spring Ridge Circle in Granbury, was pronounced dead at the scene of a two-vehicle accident at 2:20 p.m. by Justice of the Peace Martin Castillo in the 3500 block of Highway 377 West about a half mile west of Granbury, according to DPS Senior Trooper Dub Gillum.
The other vehicle, a 2007 Peterbilt 18-wheeler that was hauling liquid petroleum gas, was driven by Keith Allen Jordan, 46, of Morehouse, Mo. Jordan suffered leg and internal injuries, and was flown by air ambulance to a Fort Worth hospital, according to the DPS accident report. His condition was unknown at press time.
The DPS report states that Turner’s westbound 2001 Chevrolet 1500 Silverado pickup “entered the eastbound lane, striking (the 18-wheeler) in the front left. (The 18-wheeler) traveled into the eastbound barrow ditch, striking a tree and a fence.”
The 18-wheeler went between two large trees, one of which caused even more extensive damage to the cab. Jordan’s legs were pinned when the side of the cab was crushed, and first responders had to extricate him using metal-cutting “jaws.”
The report states that Jordan was wearing a seatbelt, and Turner was not.
Turner is survived by his parents, Randy and Teresa Turner, along with older brothers Nick and Drew and younger sister Claire, who attends sixth grade in Tolar.
Tony Tull of Granbury said his family, especially his oldest son Josh, 20, knew Turner. Tony Tull, who coached them when they played on the same Little Dribblers basketball team several years ago, described Ryan as unique.
“He was a good student. Him and my son were a lot alike,” Tull said. “He had such a humor about him. It’s sad for any parent to have to bury their kid. He was a very warm and friendly guy. He blended in well with everybody. There wasn’t anybody he wasn’t friends with.”
Tull noted that Turner had attended Texas Tech University in Lubbock for one year, and was planning on going back, possibly this fall. Turner had been working as a laboror since his return to Granbury, Tull said, but was looking forward to enrolling again and majoring in history.
Tolar High School Principal Brandon Woods said that Turner began attending the school as a freshman in the 2007-2008 school year and was a 2011 graduate who was both quick-witted and a deep thinker.
“Ryan will always be remembered for his great mind, deep thoughts and witty humor. He will be missed by many, and the TISD family is deeply saddened by this tragedy,” Woods said, noting that Turner had served as an office aide at THS. “Those coming into the office enjoyed his banter, perspective and humor.”
“He was a delightful young man,” said John Austin, pastor of the church Ryan and his family attended, Our Savior Lutheran Church in Granbury. “He loved to read, and he always kept you on your toes. He didn’t take easy answers.”
Austin said members of the Turner family had been members of that church since they moved to Hood County in 1999.
Austin said that the starting time of the funeral service, which is being handled by Wiley Funeral Home, is set for 2 p.m. on Friday, at the church.
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