Atlanta Falcons Blog

Atlanta Falcons blog by D. Orlando Ledbetter, the pro football and Atlanta Falcons reporter for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Ex-Auburn and Lassiter star Lutzenkirchen killed in auto accident


Philip Lutzenkirchen, tight end, Auburn. Played high school football at Lassiter. By Butch Dill

Philip Lutzenkirchen, 23, a member of Auburn's 2010 national championship-winning team and a former star at Lassiter High died Sunday morning in a car accident, Auburn's sports information office confirmed.

The car accident occurred outside LaGrange, Georgia at approximately 3:06 a.m. Sunday morning. B.N. Talley, the officer who responded to the scene, told the Ledger Enquirer that a 2006 Chevy Tahoe missed a stop sign at a "t-intersection" before traveling off the intersection and into a churchyard. The car was "out of control for about 450 feet" before it overturned, ejecting all four passengers from the vehicle.

Talley said that Lutzenkirchen was killed at the scene.

Lutzenkirchen, who was one of the more popular players in recent school history, had his senior season cut short when he suffered a hip injury in 2012. He had surgery Oct. 24. Earlier in his career, he helped the Tigers win the BCS national title.

“I definitely had a blessed career at Auburn,” Lutzenkirchen told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution before the NFL scouting combine in Feb. 2013. “I didn’t go out the way I wanted to, but that’s just how life goes. You’re going to experience highs. You’re going to experience lows.”

Lutzenkirchen was hoping to continue his career in the NFL.

“I have three good years of tape in the SEC, so teams know what I can do,” Lutzenkirchen said. “They know that I played at a high level in the best conference. So, I’m not too worried about it.”

After going undrafted, Lutzenkirchen signed as a free agent with the St. Louis Rams. He was released on the final cut down to 53 players.

UPDATE: The driver of the car was former UGA baseball player, Joseph Ian Davis. He was also killed.

UPDATE: Here’s a copy of the Georgia State Patrol report, per the AJC’s Michael Morris:

Troup County Fatal Crash

The Georgia State Patrol in LaGrange was called to investigate a one-vehicle crash this morning in Troup County that resulted in two fatalities and two injuries. The crash occurred around 3:05 a.m. at the intersection of Upper Big Springs Road and Lower Big Springs Road, just south of LaGrange.

A 2006 Chevrolet Tahoe was traveling on Upper Big Springs Road and failed to stop at a stop sign at the intersection of Lower Big Springs Road. The vehicle traveled approximately 451 feet out of control through a church yard and overturned several times before coming to rest on its roof.

Killed in the crash were: Driver: Joseph Ian Davis, age 22, from Atlanta….partially ejected Back seat passenger: Philip Lutzenkirchen, 23, from Marietta…ejected.

Injured were: Back seat passenger: Elizabeth Ann Seaton Craig, age 22, from Eatonton, GA….ejected and taken to West Georgia Medical Center in LaGrange; Front seat passenger: Christian Tanner Case, age 20, from Dadeville, AL…..restrained, and treated and released from West Georgia Medical.

Blood was drawn from the driver to determine if alcohol impairment was a contributing factor.

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About the Author

D. Orlando Ledbetter is the Atlanta Falcons beat writer for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.