AUBURN, Ala. - A teen driver told police he fell asleep at the wheel before rear-ending Auburn broadcaster Rod Bramblett and his wife, Paula, in a crash that killed the couple.
AL.com reported that the 16-year-old told police he doesn’t remember what happened just before the May 25 accident, scarcely a mile from Auburn’s Jordan-Hare Stadium. The crash occurred just after 6 p.m. on a Saturday.
The police report says it’s unknown how fast the teen was driving before he struck the Brambletts’ vehicle from behind, pushing it into the intersection and through opposing lanes of traffic.
Bramblett, 52, died from a head injury. His wife, Paula, 53, who worked in Auburn’s Information Technology Department, died from internal injuries. The teen driver sustained serious injuries.
Auburn police ruled out the use of a phone and alcohol as contributing factors. Lee County District Attorney Brandon Hughes says the investigation is ongoing.
Bramblett, the “Voice of the Auburn Tigers,” began announcing baseball games for Auburn in 1993 and became the Tigers’ play-by-play announcer for football and basketball in 2003.
Bramblett was a three-time Alabama Sportscaster of the Year. Sports Illustrated named Bramblett the national broadcaster of the year in 2013 after his calls during wins over Alabama — “Kick Six” — and Georgia — “Miracle in Jordan-Hare.”
The Brambletts had been together since high school. They are survived by two children, daughter Shelby, an Auburn student, and son Joshua.
Nearly 2,000 mourners and Auburn fans attended a public memorial for the Brambletts last month.
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