Police on Monday arrested the 16-year-old driver of a car that was involved in a fatal wreck that killed longtime Auburn radio announcer Rod Bramblett and his wife on May 25.
The Auburn Police Division said in a statement that Johnston Edward Taylor of Auburn was arrested at his home on Monday. He is charged with two counts of manslaughter and was being held at the Lee County Jail on $50,000 bond.
Bramblett and his wife, Paula, died from injuries suffered in the car wreck on Shug Jordan Parkway around 7 p.m. ET on May 25. Police previously said the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee that Taylor was driving struck the rear of the 2017 Toyota Highlander the Brambletts were in. Rod Bramblett was 53; Paula Bramblett was 52.
The statement from Auburn Police on Monday said a report from the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency's Traffic Homicide Unit confirmed that Taylor's vehicle was "traveling at an excessive rate of speed, well over the posted 55 mph speed limit, when the crash occurred."
The statement said a toxicology analysis from the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences confirmed "the presence of marijuana in Taylor's system."
Rod Bramblett was airlifted to UAB Hospital in Birmingham, where he died of a severe closed head injury, the coroner's office said. Paula Bramblett died of multiple internal injuries in the emergency room of East Alabama Medical Center.
Bramblett served as the lead announcer for Auburn football, men's basketball and baseball. According to the school's athletic website, he had been the voice of the baseball team since 1993, and he took over play-by-play duties for football and basketball in 2003.
"I'm heartbroken by the loss of Rod Bramblett and his wife Paula. Rod was a true professional and was always a pleasure to work with," Auburn football coach Gus Malzahn said in a statement in late May. "He loved Auburn and it showed in his work. As much as he loved Auburn, his family came first and foremost. This is a difficult time and we will continue to pray and offer our support to the Bramblett family, especially their children Shelby and Joshua."
Bramblett was a three-time winner of the Alabama State Broadcaster of the Year award (2006, 2010, 2013). He was honored as the National Broadcaster of the Year by Sports Illustrated in 2013, in part for his call on Chris Davis' game-winning, 109-yard return of a missed field goal as time expired to beat Alabama in the Iron Bowl, which is simply known as "Kick-Six" by Tigers fans.