Philip Lutzenkirchen Drunk Driving Story

Philip Lutzenkirchen Drunk Driving Story
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    I'm Mike Lutzenkirchen. I'm the father of Philip Lutzenkirchen.
    Now, I'm hoping younger kids who never got a chance to see Philip play here at Lassiter
    or at Auburn, or his brief stint with the St. Louis Rams,
    that they'll ask what this is all about.
    Hopefully, kids will make a decision to make better decisions based on learning the story.
    And this is where 23 year old Philip Lutzenkirchen has passed away.
    Lutzenkirchen was ejected from the car and the Auburn football star died on the scene.
    Lutzenkirchen is well known for his performance in the National Championship in 2010.
    Authorities say blood tests are being done to see
    if alcohol played a role in this crash.
    We were all together at church, except for Philip and Abby were away.
    Sunday morning came back from mass, when there was a yellow sticky note
    on our door. And all it said was to call a number.
    It was a 10 digit number, and we knew something was wrong when you have a sticky like that.
    Anytime a parent sees a note or gets
    a call late at night, I mean, your heart just drops...
    And I'm just thinking right away none of the girls knew where Philip was that weekend.
    Pure panic.
    Ended up being the coroner of Troup County who simply said,
    "There was an accident last night. Mike and Philip was killed."
    It was just all a big...
    It's not a blur, but it just was like slow motion...
    Just ache that lasted for a long, long, long time.
    How do you get through the grieving process?
    There is no book on grieving, there's no... Everybody has got their own
    right to grieve the way they want. The girls actually lived in Philip's
    bedroom for the month of July.
    You know, you think you're making progress, we had already had discussions,
    but then all of a sudden, I'd be in my office and get a Google Alert
    that starts out on USA Today online of "Auburn's Lutzenkirchen's BAC 0.377,"
    no matter in my heart I knew there was alcohol involved,
    to see that number, it's astronomical.
    We had a pow wow, come to Jesus, and we were like, "We have to do something.
    We can't do nothing." And it wasn't just because we're these saintly people that wanted
    to give, it's just, you just can't sit in a hole.
    I mean, you just can't do it.
    We had started the thought of a foundation with Live like Lutz, Love
    like Lutz and Learn from Lutz.
    Live Love Learn and Lutz just,
    people called him Lutzie. We wanted to do something for kids' character
    development. And that's what it initially started out as.
    I had a high school football coach from a rival high school that had coached against
    Philip, and Brent had said, "Mike, there was a party on Friday and
    now it's Monday and I've already learned that a good portion of my
    team was at this party and some of them were drinking.
    And I don't mean to be insensitive or I hope this isn't it
    too early, would you consider coming and talking to my team?"
    When Auburn has a home game, they bus 50 miles down to Montgomery
    and stay in a hotel. And Gus Malzahn, the head coach,
    said, "Mike, we want you to come talk to the team if you're
    up for it." So that's kinda the timeline of starting to see that
    Philip's life could have an impact on others.
    Nobody forced my son to drink to the level that he did.
    Nobody. My talk is about an hour long now. But man,
    can you pull them back in when you give them some stare downs and you
    give them statistics. It's certainly a key point in the message that we
    deliver to kids and audiences when we go speak. It's a whole different
    game. It's safety led talk of "learn from my son, so that you're
    not in the position that our family's in because of poor decisions."
    It's hard to have someone you look up to make such a big
    mistake and someone that you really care about make that mistake.
    But I think it just proves that everyone's human, no matter how invincible
    that you think that they are.
    You can be the big football star, and still lose your life if you don't make the right decisions.
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