Hearts are heavy in Marietta and Dunwoody as both communities mourn the loss of two former high school and collegiate athletes.
Philip Lutzenkirchen, 23, died early Sunday morning when he was thrown from a car in Troup County.
The former Auburn tight end was a starter on the 2010 national championship-winning team and was a staple at Lassiter High School. Lutzenkirchen is ranked first in touchdowns by a tight end in Auburn University history with 14.
The one-vehicle accident occurred in Lagrange around 3:05 a.m. According to Georgia State Patrol, a 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. Lutzenkirchen was ejected from the vehicle.
The driver of the vehicle, 22-year-old Ian Davis, was also killed in the crash. Davis was a former Dunwoody and UGA baseball player.
Two other victims were injured in the crash. Elizabeth Ann Seaton Craig, 22, was ejected and taken to West Georgia Medical Center in Lagrange. Christian Tanner Case, 20, was treated and released from West Georgia Medical Center.
Georgia State Patrol say blood was drawn from the driver to determine if alcohol impairment was a contributing factor.
Hundreds have taken to social media to express their condolences including Lutzenkirchen’s former coach at Auburn, Gus Malzahn.
Malzahn tweeted on Sunday, “We lost a great Auburn man today in Philip Lutzenkirchen. His character and positive influence will be remembered forever."
Georgia head baseball coach Scott Stricklin tweeted, “Heartbroken to hear that Ian Davis has passed away. Just a great kid that had so much ahead of him. Thoughts and prayers go out to his family."
FOX 5's Chris Shaw spoke to several of Lutzenkirchen's close friends, including UGA quarterback Hutson Mason.
"He was a legend here at Lassiter," said Mason.
"He probably had a bigger impact in his 23 years, than many people have in their 80 or however many they get," said Lutzenkirchen's roommate, Brian Penter. "That's what kind of guy he was."
Lutzenkirchen was living in Montgomery, but was visiting friends over the weekend.
A memorial service is being held Wednesday at 8:00 p.m. in honor of Lutzenkirchen. The public service will be held at Lassiter High School at Frank Fillmann Stadium. The visitation will be held on Thursday at 10:30 a.m. at Transfiguration Catholic Church in Marietta. The funeral Mass will follow at 1:00 p.m.
A memorial service is set for Davis on Thursday at 11:00 a.m. at North Point Church in Alpharetta.
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