AUBURN, Ala. — The Georgia State Patrol suspects alcohol was involved in the fatal wreck that killed former Auburn tight end Philip Lutzenkirchen early Sunday morning.
According to the official traffic crash report released to the Ledger-Enquirer and other media outlets Monday afternoon, the GSP believes each of the four passengers in the one-vehicle accident had alcohol in their system. However, blood was only drawn from Lutzenkirchen and the driver, Joseph Ian Davis, the other person killed in the wreck.
The two survivors — Elizabeth Ann Seaton Craig, 22, of Eatonton, Ga., and Christian Tanner Case, 20, of Dadeville, Ala. — were taken to the West Georgia Medical Center in LaGrange. Case, sitting in the front passenger seat, was wearing his seat belt. He was treated and released from the medical center on Sunday. Craig's condition has yet to be updated. She was sitting in the back seat and not wearing her seat belt when she was ejected from the vehicle.
The report detailed the investigation that took place once the state patrol arrived on the scene at 4:17 a.m., more than an hour after the accident was first reported at 3:09 a.m. According to the report, Davis ran through a stop sign at the intersection of Upper Big Springs Road and Lower Big Springs road, where the vehicle, a 2006 Chevy Tahoe hit a ditch. It then traveled another 89 feet before hitting another ditch parallel to the driveway of Big Springs Methodist Church. At this point, the vehicle traveled further before it became airborne for 42 feet and flipped multiple times.
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Lutzenkirchen and Craig were ejected from the vehicle while Davis was partially ejected.
A fan favorite in his four years on the Plains, Lutzenkirchen caught 59 passes for 628 yards and 14 touchdowns from 2009-12. His 14 touchdowns are the most in school history for a tight end, while his seven scores in 2011 set a single-season school record for the position.
He etched his name in Iron Bowl lore in 2010, hauling in a pass Cam Newton to help Auburn cap a furious rally from 24 points down versus arch-rival Alabama. The Tigers won the game 28-27 and went on to capture the SEC and BCS titles, the latter marking the Tigers' first national championship since 1957.
There will be a memorial service for Lutzenkirchen on Wednesday in Marietta, Ga., taking place at the football stadium of his alma mater, Lassiter High School. Lutzenkirchen's funeral will be held Thursday at 1 p.m. at Transfiguration Catholic Church in Marietta.