A 16-year-old was arrested in connection with the deaths of Auburn Tigers commentator Rod Bramblett and his wife Paula on Monday. The Brambletts were killed in a car crash on May 25 in Auburn, Alabama. Johnston Edward Taylor was arrested at his home and charged with two counts of manslaughter, Auburn police said, reports 247Sports.com.
A toxicology report found that marijuana was in Taylor's system when his vehicle struck the Brambletts' on May 25. Police said Taylor was also driving "well over" the speed limit of 55 mph.
The Auburn Family is devastated by the tragic passing of Rod and Paula Bramblett. 🙏🙏 pic.twitter.com/BiynTWHcIx— Auburn Tigers (@AuburnTigers) May 26, 2019
Taylor is now being held at Lee County Jail on $50,000 bond. He could face between two to 20 years in prison for each manslaughter charge, if convicted.
The teenager was driving ha Jeep Laredo southbound on Shug Jordan Parkway and struck the Brambletts' 2017 Toyota Highlander at a busy intersection near the Auburn University campus. The impact caused the Brambletts' vehicle to strike pedestrian crossing and traffic signals before it stopped.
Taylor's arrest followed an investigation into the crash. He previously told police he did not remember the events of the crash, and they ruled out cell phone use as the cause.
After the crash, the Brambletts were rushed to different area hospitals. Rod, 53, was air-lifted to UAB Hospital in Birmingham, Alabama, where he died. Paula, 52, succumbed to her injuries after she was taken to the East Alabama Medical Center.
Bramblett had been the voice of the Auburn Tigers since June 2003, calling games for both the football and men's basketball teams. His most famous call was the "Kick Six" play in Auburn's victory over Alabama at the 2013 Iron Bowl.
Following the crash, members of the Auburn community mourned the loss of the Brambletts. A GoFundMe account raised more than $331,000 for the couple' two children, Shelby and Joshua. The biggest single donation came from Apple CEO Tim Cook, who donated $25,000 to the family.
"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 in a statement. "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!'"
Greene continued, "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... 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."
Photo credit: YouTube/Auburn Tigers on AL.com