AUBURN, Ala. (WTVM) - The Auburn community is mourning the loss of one of their own. Rod Bramblett, the voice of the Auburn Tigers, and his wife, Paula Bramblett, were killed in a vehicle accident on Saturday night.
On Saturday at approximately 6:00 p.m., Auburn emergency services responded to a motor vehicle crash on Shug Jordan Parkway at the intersection of West Samford Avenue.
Authorities say a 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee struck the rear of a 2017 Toyota Highlander in the intersection.
Rod and Paula Bramblett, who were in the Highlander, were transported to East Alabama Medical Center.
According to Lee County Coroner Bill Harris, 52-year-old Paula Bramblett died in the emergency room around 7:50 p.m.
53-year-old Rod Bramblett was transported from East Alabama Medical Center to UAB Hospital in Birmingham and later passed away from injuries sustained in the accident.
The 16-year-old driver of the Jeep, whose name hasn’t been released, was transported to East Alabama Medical Center. His injuries were not considered life-threatening.
The cause of the crash remains under investigation by the Auburn Police Division but they confirm alcohol was not a factor in the accident.
Rod Bramblett was a beloved community figure and sportscaster who served as radio play-by-play announcer for the Auburn Tigers football, basketball, and baseball programs.
Bramblett, a Huguley native, graduated from Auburn in 1988 and began working at the university in 1993. He was in charge of the day-to-day radio operations at Auburn and also served as the host for Tiger Talk, the Auburn Football Review and Auburn Basketball Review television shows.
“All of us in the Auburn Family are devastated by the tragic passing of Rod and Paula Bramblett,” Auburn Director of Athletics Allen Greene said. "A nationally recognized broadcaster, Rod’s love for Auburn was fervent. You could hear it coming through the radio loud and clear each time he exclaimed “Touchdown Auburn!”
Rod Bramblett was named the Alabama State Broadcaster of the Year in 2006, 2010 and in 2013, and he was also named National Broadcaster of the Year by Sports Illustrated in 2013.
His most memorable play call, known as the “Kick Six,” came in Auburn’s 2013 win against undefeated rival Alabama in the popular Iron Bowl.
“As much as Rod loved Auburn and enjoyed working with his broadcast partners, his greatest affection and devotion were reserved for his family: his wife Paula, and their children, Shelby and Joshua,” Greene said. “The Bramblett children and Rod and Paula’s extended family and friends are in our prayers as we mourn the loss of this uniquely special Auburn man.”
Paula Bramblett, of Valley, was also an Auburn alumnus and long-time university employee, working in the Information Technology Department.
The couple is survived by their two children: daughter Shelby, an Auburn University student, and son Joshua.
A service celebrating the lives of Rod and Paula Bramblett will be held Thursday, May 30, at 3 p.m. at the Auburn Arena. The public is invited to attend. A private burial service for family will follow.
Following the crash, many Auburn community members as well as state officials and sports fans across the country have expressed their sadness over the tragedy.