Former Auburn tight end Philip Lutzenkirchen, who played on the 2010 national championship team, died Sunday morning in a car accident. He was 23.
Multiple media outlets reported the death of Lutzenkirchen, who was considered one of the most popular players on the team.
The accident occurred outside LaGrange, Ga., at 3:06 a.m. Police said a 2006 Chevy Tahoe missed a stop sign at a "t-intersection" before heading off the intersection and into a churchyard. The car lost control for about 450 feet, overturned and ejected all four passengers from the vehicle.
Lutzenkirchen, a passenger, was killed at the scene. The driver, Joseph Davis, also died.
"I'm deeply saddened by the untimely passing of Philip Lutzenkirchen," coach Gus Malzahn said in a statement. "He was a great young man who touched the lives of everyone he knew in a positive way. On the field, Philip was a great player and competitor, but more importantly, he was a great teammate and friend off the field.
"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."
Lutzenkirchen made 59 catches for 628 yards with 14 touchdowns at Auburn.
"Philip's death is a devastating tragedy for his family, the Auburn family and his countless friends," athletic director Jay Jacobs said in a statement. "Today is also a profoundly sad day for the Auburn Athletics family, who loved and respected Philip not only as a great player but more importantly as a friend and the epitome of an Auburn man. I came to know Philip well and I admired everything about who he was and the way he lived his life. He had a strong faith, a big heart and a burning desire to help others.
"Philip was a bright light this world desperately needed, and his death leaves a void that can't possibly be filled. My prayers, my thoughts and my heart go out to his wonderful parents, Mike and Mary, their entire family and his many grieving friends."
Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
The Auburn Family mourns the loss of our friend Philip Lutzenkirchen (1991-2014). He'll forever live in our hearts. pic.twitter.com/VXXW2ePzSA— Auburn Tigers (@AuburnTigers) June 29, 2014