UPDATED 10:30 A.M. FRIDAY:

GoFundMe account tops $300k mark

The Auburn Family, friends and other supportive donors from near and far have stepped up and stepped up in a hurry to support the children of Rod and Paula Bramblett via the GoFundMe account established in their name.

The account, set up earlier in the week after the passing of Rod and Paula from injuries sustained in a car accident, has topped the $300,000 mark, more than three times the original goal.

Friday morning, $312,000 was in the account, donated by more than 3,000 givers.

Also on the site are hundreds of supportive messages posted.

The account is called the Rod and Paula Bramblett Family Memorial Fund.

It can be found here:

Also:

Photo gallery from Thursday's service:

And in case you missed it, here's the story behind that sketch of Aubie and Big Al that went viral:

****

UPDATED 1:50 P.M. THURSDAY

Service live-stream

UPDATED 11:30 A.M. WEDNESDAY

Service to be live-streamed online

Auburn Athletics will be live-streaming the memorial service Thursday for Rod and Paul Bramblett.

The memorial service will be streamed live on AuburnTigers.com and on the Auburn Tigers official Facebook page. The Opelika-Auburn News also will link to the live stream, at oanow.com.

Visitation will be from noon to 2 p.m., with the service starting at 2, all inside Auburn Arena.

UPDATED 10:30 A.M. WEDNESDAY

GoFundMe update:

The Auburn Family, friends and perhaps caring strangers alike continue to give to the Rod and Paula Bramblett Memorial Fund on GoFundMe.com.

The original goal of $100,000 quickly was surpassed, and as of 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, more than 2,500 donors had given $264,000, and the goal lifted to $300,000.

UPDATE 3:15 P.M. TUESDAY

Friends, fans, family keep giving

GoFundMe update:

Tim Cook, Apple CEO and famous Auburn alum, chipped in $25,000.

Auburn baseball coach Butch Thompson and his wife Robin donated $5,000, as did longtime Auburn supporter and businessman Raymond Harbert.

Countless others have left supportive comments.

The Auburn Family, friends and perhaps caring strangers alike continue to give to the Rod and Paula Bramblett Memorial Fund on GoFundMe.com.

The fund was announced by Auburn Athletics and was established to help the children of Rod and Paula, both killed from injuries in a Saturday night car accident.

The original goal of $100,000 quickly was surpassed, and as of 3:15 p.m. Tuesday, more than $215,000 was raised, and the goal lifted to $250,000.

The Brambletts' two children are both sophomores, one in college and one in high school.

Services for Rod and Paula are set for Thursday (information below).

The GoFundMe account:

UPDATE 2:30 P.M. TUESDAY:

Police release investigation update

Auburn Police Division’s preliminary investigation into the crash that resulted in the deaths of Rod and Paula Bramblett Saturday night has not determined that alcohol or distractive phone usage was a contributing factor.

The investigation, however, continues to be active and wide-ranging, the department said Tuesday afternoon in a news release.

The two-vehicle crash occurred Saturday evening on Shug Jordan Parkway at West Samford Avenue.

The accident involved an SUV driven by the Brambletts and an SUV driven by a 16-year-old driver, who was also injured in the accident.

Auburn police added that a full investigation remains in progress, and reported that the Brambletts were wearing their seabelts when the accident occurred.

“A full and complete investigation including, but not limited to, the examination of crash and vehicle data, accident reconstruction, toxicology, determination of speed and / or other contributing factors will be conducted,” the release reads.

Police added that the case “will subsequently be presented to the district attorney’s office for review.”

--Sara Palczewski

*****

UPDATE 10 A.M. TUESDAY:

Donors keep giving

The Auburn Family, friends and perhaps caring strangers alike continue to give to the Rod and Paula Bramblett Memorial Fund on GoFundMe.com.

The fund was announced by Auburn Athletics and was established to help the children of Rod and Paula, both killed from injuries in a Saturday night car accident.

The original goal of $100,000 was surpassed, and as of 10 a.m. Tuesday, more than $150,000 was raised, and the goal lifted to $200,000.

The Brambletts' two children are both sophomores, one in college and one in high school.

Services for Rod and Paula are set for Thursday (information below).

The GoFundMe account:

UPDATED MONDAY:

Full updated story on services, GoFundMe account:

Auburn University's Auburn Arena will serve as host site for the second time within a week for funeral/memorial services, which prior to last Friday it had never been used for such purpose.

Last Friday, the city, university, and hundreds of fellow police officers, first-responders, officials and residents attended the funeral of Auburn Police Officer William Buechner, who was shot and killed in the line of duty the previous Sunday night while answering a domestic violence call.

Then on Saturday night came word of the tragic car accident that led to the deaths of Rod and Paula Bramblett. Rod was widely known nationwide as the "Voice of the Auburn Tigers" for his radio broadcasts of Auburn athletics.

The Brambletts were driving an SUV Saturday evening on Shug Jordan Parkway when they were rear-ended by another SUV at the intersection of Samford Avenue. Both of them soon died of their injuries on Saturday night, stunning Auburn fans and rival sports fans alike, as well as the entire Auburn community in which the Brambletts were actively involved.

They leave behind two children, daughter Shelby, a sophomore at Auburn University, and son Joshua, who will be a 10th-grader at Auburn High School.

Auburn Athletics on Sunday evening announced that a memorial service “celebrating the lives of Rod and Paula Bramblett” will be held Thursday at the arena. Visitation will be from noon to 2 p.m., with the memorial service starting at 2.

The Rev. Dr. George Mathison will officiate, and a private burial service for family will follow.

The athletics department also announced that a GoFundMe account is established to help support the Bramblett children.

"They lost their parents as the result of an automobile accident Saturday, May 25th. This fund will help Shelby and Joshua move forward with life’s expenses,” the account says.

"Rod was the longtime voice of the Auburn Tigers. Paula worked for Auburn University’s Office of Information Technology.  

“Shelby, Joshua, and their family appreciate your kindness and support."

The account, which includes a space for comments, can be found at:

Rod served as Auburn’s lead announcer since 2003, and called Auburn baseball games for 27 seasons.

****** 

UPDATED MONDAY:

Additional information on GoFundMe account:

The following information introduces the Rod and Paula Bramblett Family Memorial account established on GoFundMe.com.

"This fund is set up for the children of Rod and Paula Bramblett, Shelby and Joshua. Shelby is a sophomore at Auburn University. Joshua will be a 10th-grader at Auburn High School this fall.

"They lost their parents as the result of an automobile accident Saturday, May 25th. This fund will help Shelby and Joshua move forward with life’s expenses.

"Rod was the longtime voice of the Auburn Tigers. Paula worked for Auburn University’s Office of Information Technology.  

Shelby, Joshua, and their family appreciate your kindness and support."

The account, which includes a space for comments, can be found at:

*****

UPDATED SUNDAY P.M.:

Memorial services planned

GoFundMe account established

The following announcement was released from Auburn Athletics:

"ROD & PAULA BRAMBLETT MEMORIAL SERVICE: A service celebrating the lives of Rod and Paula Bramblett will be held Thursday, May 30, at 2 p.m. CT at Auburn Arena.

"Visitation will take place prior to the memorial service from noon to 2 p.m. The public is invited to attend. Dr. George Mathison will officiate. A private burial service for family will follow. 

"Rod and Paula passed away Saturday, May 25, from injuries sustained in a car accident in Auburn. The Voice of the Auburn Tigers, Rod served as Auburn’s lead announcer since 2003, and called Auburn baseball games for 27 seasons.

"The Rod and Paula Bramblett Family Memorial Fund is being created via GoFundMe to support Rod and Paula’s children."

*****

ORIGINAL REPORT

SATURDAY P.M.

Rod Bramblett, the “Voice of the Auburn Tigers,” and his wife Paula both died from their injuries in a tragic two-vehicle accident Saturday evening in Auburn.

The accident involved the SUV driven by the Brambletts and an SUV driven by a 16-year-old driver who also was injured in the accident, which occurred on Shug Jordan Parkway at West Samford Avenue.

Rod Bramblett, 53, was airlifted with life-threatening injuries to the UAB Hospital in Birmingham, where he later Saturday night died from those injuries, according to multiple sources.

His wife Paula, 52, was rushed to East Alabama Medical Center in Opelika but died earlier in the evening from her injuries.

The teen injured was in serious condition and also taken to East Alabama Medical Center. His name was not being released by police Saturday night, as the investigation into the accident continued.

Witnesses said one of the vehicles rear-ended the other as it was waiting to turn.

"A 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee (driven by the teen) struck the rear of a 2017 Toyota Highlander," (driven by the Brambletts), police reported.

Auburn Athletics released the following statement at 9:45 p.m. Saturday:

“Rod Bramblett, the Voice of the Auburn Tigers, and his wife, Paula, were involved in a serious car accident early Saturday evening in Auburn.

"We ask the Auburn Family to keep the Bramblett family in your thoughts and prayers.”

Lee County Coroner Bill Harris released a statement at 10:05 p.m. Saturday:

"A two-vehicle motor vehicle collision Saturday afternoon about 6:00 PM has claimed one life and critically injured another person. The accident happened at the intersection of Samford Avenue and Shug Jordan Parkway in Auburn.

"The driver of one vehicle was transported to EAMC and then airlifted by helicopter to UAB Hospital in Birmingham with critical injuries.

"The passenger was airlifted from the scene but had to be diverted to EAMC due to the severity of her injuries and died in the emergency room from her injuries shortly after arrival there.

"The driver of the other vehicle was taken by ambulance to EAMC emergency room with non-life-threatening injuries."

Alcohol was not a factor in the accident, which remains under investigation by the Lee County Coroner’s Office and the Auburn Police Division, Harris said.

A beloved figure

Bramblett was beloved on the Plains and known as an on-air anchor of the Auburn University sports broadcast network for nearly 30 years.

Bramblett’s voice has been immortalized through his calls like “Go crazy, Cadillac,” which has echoed across Auburn since the 2003 Iron Bowl, and his call of the 2013 Iron Bowl, simply put, “Auburn’s going to win the football game.”

Bramblett took over as Auburn’s lead announcer for football and men’s basketball in 2003, after the death of his predecessor, another broadcasting legend, Jim Fyffe.

Then, many thought Auburn football wouldn’t be the same without Fyffe’s trumpeting calls of “Touchdown Auburn.” Now, many are sure Auburn football won’t be the same without Bramblett, either.

Bramblett was the lead Auburn baseball announcer for 11 seasons before he was named as Fyffe’s successor in 2003.

Bramblett graduated from Auburn in 1988. He began his broadcast career in Lanett working part-time with the WZZZ/WCJM radio stations during his time in school at Auburn. He worked in Auburn at WAUD from 1989-91, then from 1993-96, calling play-by-play for Auburn High athletics and Lee-Scott Academy athletics during that time.

Bramblett was named National Broadcaster of the Year by Sports Illustrated in 2013, after his famous calls for Auburn football’s thrilling wins over Alabama and Georgia that fall.

Bramblett called Auburn’s first-ever run to the men’s basketball Final Four this spring.

Opelika-Auburn News sportswriter Justin Lee contributed to this report. Troy Turner is editor of the O-A News and can be contacted at tturner@oanow.com.

Troy Turner is editor of the Opelika-Auburn News. He previously served as the news editor in New York for the nation's second largest newspaper company, and as the senior editor at several other news entities around the nation. He is an Auburn grad.


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