Johnston Edward Taylor, a 16-year-old from Alabama, has been charged with two counts of manslaughter stemming from a fatal car accident on May 25, 2019, that took the lives of 53-year-old Rod Bramblett, the Voice of the Auburn Tigers, and his wife Paula, 52.
Taylor is accused of traveling at an excessive rate of speed. A toxicology report also revealed that he had marijuana in his system, according to the Alabama News Network. A blood sample from the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences “indicated that Taylor’s blood sample contained THC, which is the primary psychoactive component of marijuana, and is indicative of recent usage of marijuana at the time of the collision.”
The 16-year-old, who is a high school student at Lee Scott Academy, was reportedly driving 30 mph over the 55 mph speed limit.
The affidavit released Tuesday states the report from ALEA’s Traffic Homicide Unit data states that Taylor’s Jeep Laredo was accelerating from a speed of 89 mph to 91 mph in a 55-mph zone when the crash happened. There was no braking, according to the report.
Taylor claimed that he had fallen asleep at the wheel.
Paula Bramblett passed away in the emergency room from internal injuries, while Rod Bramblett — who the lead play-by-play announcer for the men’s football, basketball and baseball teams and a former National Broadcaster of the Year honored by Sports Illustrated — died from a head injury after being airlifted to a nearby hospital.
Taylor also suffered injuries in the crash, however, he was taken into custody at Lee County Jail before being released on $50,000 bond. He is being charged as an adult.
A court date for Taylor has not yet been set.
Our deepest condolences are with the family and friends of Rod and Paula Bramblett, and all of those who were impacted by the tragedy during this incredibly emotional and difficult time.