Rod Bramblett, the longtime “Voice of the Auburn Tigers,” and his wife were killed in a two-car accident Saturday night in Auburn, Alabama, the Opelika-Auburn News reported.
Update 7:58 a.m. EDT May 26: Auburn University spokesman Kirk Sampson confirmed the deaths of Rod Bramblett, 53, and Paula Bramblett, 52, USA Today reported. The couple was involved in a two-car crash in Auburn, according to Auburn police and Lee County Coroner Bill Harris.
Tributes poured in from members of the Auburn staff and community.
“You will not find a kinder, more unselfish soul than Rod,” Auburn basketball coach Bruce Pearl tweeted. “His love for Auburn, our student athletes and coaches is genuine and heard loud and clear.”
Former Auburn football coach Gene Chizik called the news “devastating.”
“They were fantastic human beings,” Chizik tweeted. “I will always cherish my 4 years working with Rod. He loved his Tigers. He loved his family. He loved his job. He loved people.
Original report: According to Auburn police and Lee County Coroner Bill Harris, Bramblett, 53, and his wife, Paula, were killed when their 2017 Toyota Highlander was rear-ended by a Jeep Grand Cherokee driven by a 16-year-old, AL.com reported. Rod Bramblett was airlifted to a Birmingham hospital, where he later died, the News reported.
Harris confirmed that Paula Bramblett, 52, was taken to a hospital in Opelika but died from her injuries, the newspaper reported.
"The fatality accident victims in Saturday's two vehicle collision in Auburn were 53-year-old Rod Bramblett and his wife, 52-year-old Paula Bramblett, of Auburn,” Harris said early Sunday morning. “Paula Bramblett died at 7:50 p.m. in the emergency room of East Alabama Medical Center from multiple internal injuries and Rod Bramblett, known as the "Voice of the Auburn Tigers, died at UAB Hospital in Birmingham from a severe closed head injury.”
While the university has not officially confirmed the Bramblett’s deaths, university president Steven Leath tweeted “Our hearts are full of grief,” and said he and his wife “offer our sympathy and support to the family of Rod and Paula Bramblett.”
The teen was taken to the same hospital as Paula Bramblett, where he was listed in serious condition, according to the News.
The crash happened around 6 p.m. at the intersection of Shug Jordan Parkway and West Samford Avenue in Auburn, WSFA reported.
According to Auburn University’s website, Rod Bramblett graduated from the university in 1988 with a bachelor’s degree in history and a minor in political science.
Bramblett has been the play-by-play announcer for Auburn football and basketball games since 2003. In 1993, he started his Auburn broadcasting career as the voice of the Tigers’ baseball team.
Bramblett’s calls during games have been legendary to Southeastern Conference football fans, including “Go crazy, Cadillac” at the 2003 Iron Bowl and “Auburn’s going to win the football game,” when the Tigers returned a missed field goal 109 yards -- “Kick Six” -- to defeat archrival Alabama in the 2013 Iron Bowl.
While attending Auburn, Bramblett began his broadcasting career in Lanett, working for the WZZZ/WCJM radio stations, according to the school’s website. He also worked at WAUD in Auburn from 1989 to 1991 and from 1993 to 1996
Earlier Saturday, Auburn University tweeted that the Brambletts “were involved in a serious car accident” in Auburn.
“We ask the Auburn Family to keep the Bramblett family in your thoughts and prayers,” school officials tweeted.
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