New Details about Teenager Involved in Crash That Killed Ron and Paula Bramblett

Photo from Lee Co. Sheriff’s Office

The teenager charged with manslaughter in the deaths of Auburn radio announcer Rod Bramblett and his wife Paula was driving more than 30 miles over the 55mph speed limit and accelerating when he slammed into the back of the couple’s SUV. That’s according to court records that have just been made public.

Auburn police have charged 16-year-old Johnston Edward Taylor as an adult with two counts of manslaughter. The court records provide more detail into what led to the charges against the Lee Scott Academy high school student. reports a toxicology report of Taylor’s blood “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.”

According to the Auburn Police Dept. report, Taylor had told officers he fell asleep while driving and did not remember what happened. He was injured in the crash, which happened May 25.

The report says Taylor was going south on Shug Jordan Parkway. The Brambletts’ SUV was stopped or nearly stopped at the West Samford Avenue intersection when it was hit. The impact caused the teen’s SUV to hit a pedestrian crossing signal and a traffic light pole before it stopped.

The Brambletts’ SUV was pushed through the intersection and hit the curb on the opposite side of the road.

Police say the Brambletts’ injuries prevented either of them from giving a statement about the wreck.

Graphic from Auburn University

The Brambletts and Taylor were taken to East Alabama Medical Center for treatment. Paula Bramblett died in the emergency room of internal injuries. She was 52. Rod Bramblett died of a head injury after being flown to Birmingham for treatment. He was 53.

Bramblett was known as the voice of the Auburn Tigers’ sports teams.

Taylor is out of jail on $50,000 bond.

(Copyright 2019 The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Categories: Montgomery Metro, News, Statewide