LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - Matt Turner's broadcasting career, cut far too short after a single-car accident Saturday evening along I-30 near Bryant.
It was his passion in life. With that came the chance to practice his craft in a place he called home. But as with most careers, the career journey for Broadcaster Matt Turner did not start on the anchor desk of Little Rock CBS affiliate KTHV.
KATV Sports Director Steve Sullivan remembers Matt as an intern at his station.
"I've had a lot (interns) over the years and some get their feet wet. Some go off the deep end and you have a few like Matt that will dive right in," said Sullivan.
As an intern, during his senior year as broadcasting major at Ouachita Baptist University, Matt got an opportunity which he said would launch his career.
Sullivan remembers a project that Matt launched while an intern.
"It was like an ESPN 30 for 30 production and for a college intern to do something like that is kind of unheard of," said Sullivan.
"Sully" as Matt affectionately referred to him is the person he credits for starting his career.
A native Arkansan, the opportunity to work at his first commercial station would come in 2003. On the search for a sports anchor and reporter, northwest Arkansas station KNWA would name Turner to that position.
In 2006, KNWA promoted Matt to main anchor.
"He'd always talk to me about ..."I want to get back to central Arkansas," said Sullivan.
In September of 2012 that opportunity came. Matt joined the Little Rock KTHV news team on the air as a news anchor.
"There was a calmness, a confidence and a command," said KTHV News Director Chuck Maulden.
Maulden hired Matt. He said it is that perfect balance of confidence and humility which made him endearing to viewers.
"I think the highest mark of any journalist is humility," said Maulden.
He said Matt had that humility.
"You're not afraid to ask a stupid question. You're not afraid to be that guy at the press conference that holds up their hand and say 'explain that to me one more time,'" said Maulden.
He said you link the humility with a sincere interest in humans, it would perhaps be the recipe for Matt's success.
"He'd worked 8 or 9 years ... to get to Little Rock and you know he was going to be the big guy at channel 11 and he was so excited and so were the folks in Arkadelphia," said Sullivan.
Both Maulden and Sullivan said the potential of Matt's career had no bounds.
"He certainly could have gone to bigger markets to the network for that matter," said Maulden.
But even with that potential, Maulden feels Matt's heart was right here with his fellow Arkansans.
"I think Matt knew this was his last stop. This is where he wanted to be," said Maulden.
Sullivan said few people knew it, but said Matt battled a serious illness, one which on a daily basis caused him excruciating pain.
"When you watched him, you didn't know you were watching a guy that was battling a serious illness," said Sullivan.
It is this selflessness in character, coupled with humility and confidence which will make Matt Turner truly missed.
More pages remembering the life and legacy of Matt Turner:
Turner Family blog and pictures
Photos: Remembering Matt Turner
A family slideshow put together for Matt's 30th birthday
KNWA remembers their long-time anchor, Matt Turner
THV's Mark Edwards shares fond memories of Matt Turner
Thoughts on the loss of Matt Turner by Craig O'Neill