Alcohol a factor in fatal accident that killed former Auburn golfer

Danielle Downey.
Danielle Downey.

AUBURN, AL (WTVM) - Alabama State Troopers report alcohol played a factor in the single vehicle accident that killed a former professional golfer on Jan. 30.

Danielle Downey, 33, was killed when she lost control of her vehicle and ran off of Lee Rd. 57 in Auburn. The car overturned several times and Downey was ejected from the vehicle. She was not wearing a seat belt.

Downey received serious head injuries from the accident and died en-route to the East Alabama Medical Center.

It is unknown why she lost control of the car. A witness claims Downey was traveling at a high speed.

The report states Downey had been drinking with friends the night of the accident. Her friends say Downey was too intoxicated to drive, and they tried to take away her car keys. They wanted Downey to ride with someone else, but she decided to drive herself.

Downey played at Auburn from 1999-2003, earning All-America honors in 2000, 2002 and 2003. She was All-SEC all four years, earning first-team honors three times, and was the 2000 SEC Tournament champion. She also led Auburn to SEC team championships in 2000 and 2003.

Following her Auburn career, she went on to play on the LPGA and Futures Tours. During her time on the Futures Tour, she notched seven top-10 finishes and one tournament victory, taking top honors at the 2004 Lima Memorial Hospital Futures Golf Classic. On the LPGA Tour, Downey finished in the money at 15 tournaments, including a career best tie for fourth at the 2008 Bell Micro LPGA Classic. Downey finished out her professional career as a caddy on the LPGA Tour, caddying for Sarah Kemp and Laura Diaz.

During the 2012-13 season, Downey stepped up in place of head coach Kim Evans, who had been diagnosed with ovarian cancer, therefore missing the postseason. Downey guided the team through NCAA Regionals, earning a place in the NCAA Championship in Athens, Ga. Auburn would go on to take sixth at NCAAs, the team's best finish at the tournament in eight years.

The accident remains under investigation by Opelika Post of the Alabama State Troopers and the Lee County Coroner's Office.