Former Auburn TE Philip Lutzenkirchen was killed when he was ejected from a vehicle when it crashed early Sunday morning. He was 23.
According to the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer, Georgia State Highway Patrol Master Trooper B.N. Talley said the 2006 Chevy Tahoe missed a stop sign outside LaGrange, Ga.
"It happened at the intersection of Upper Big Springs Road and Lower Big Springs Road," Talley said. "The vehicle was a 2006 Chevy Tahoe and the driver missed a stop sign at the intersection of those two roads, which is more or less a 'T-intersection.' They traveled through the intersection off into a churchyard. They were out out of control for about 450 feet."
At that point, Talley said, the vehicle overturned, ejecting all four passengers.
"Philip was one of them," Talley said," and he was killed at the scene."
The driver of the Tahoe, Joseph Davis, was killed as well.
Auburn coach Gus Malzahn wasn't a head coach at Auburn when Lutzenkirchen played, but he was an offensive coordinator during the Tigers' 2010 BCS Championship run.
"On the field, Philip was a great player and competitor, but more importantly, he was a great teammate and friend off the field," Malzahn said in a statement. "My thoughts and prayers are with Philip’s parents, Mike and Mary, and all of his family and friends who are grieving his passing. This is a sad day for the entire Auburn family. I find peace knowing that even though Philip was taken from us too soon, that he lived his life to the fullest, leaving a lifetime of great memories for his family and friends to cherish forever."
The head coach of that Auburn title team was Gene Chizik.
"He was compassionate, determined, honorable and full of love, integrity and respect," Chizik said. "In 27 years of coaching, I have come across what I would consider to be a few 'rare’'young men. Phillip was certainly one of those 'rare' ones. He truly lived his life for other people and always found time to give to others. His family values taught him to be a great friend and teammate of everyone he came in contact with. My deepest sympathy is extended to his parents Mike and Mary, his sisters, and all of his extended family. We should all begin by honoring his life because he lived a life worthy of that. In his 23 short years, he has certainly left an impactful legacy to everyone he touched. I will miss him deeply."
Former Alabama QB AJ McCarron also remembered him on Twitter.
My prayers go out to @lutzenkirchen family. You had a great person on earth but now you have an even better angel protecting you >— AJ McCarron (@10AJMcCarron) June 29, 2014
He was one of the best guys I've ever had the honor of playing against. I know it's hard right now to understand but God has a plan & needed— AJ McCarron (@10AJMcCarron) June 29, 2014
A great angel to help his kingdom. He will forever be missed but never forgotten. If y'all ever need anything please let me know. God Bless— AJ McCarron (@10AJMcCarron) June 29, 2014
A senior in 2012, Lutzenkirchen holds the Auburn record for career touchdowns by a tight end with 14 and was an extremely beloved player. His senior year was cut short because of a hip injury and after the injury, posted his thanks to Auburn and fans on Twitter.
He had 59 career catches. He went to Lassiter High School in Georgia and was a volunteer assistant coach at St. James in Montgomery, Ala., this year while working at a wealth management company.
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