MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) — As the 2020 legislative session nears, former Auburn football tight end Philip Lutzenkirchen’s father, Mike Lutzenkirchen says he will endorse any distracted driving bill that comes to the Alabama Legislature.
Mike Lutzenkirchen said he spent a lot of time questioning his parenting after the loss of his son, Philip. Now, he speaks openly and honestly about his son’s accident.
Philip was a star at Auburn University before he was killed in a 2014 car crash where he was a passenger in the back seat.
“Did I give Philip the wrong signals to do what he did that weekend? I don’t think he did it deliberately. He didn’t plan to get drunk, he didn’t [plan] to get in a vehicle, he didn’t plan to lose his life or a friend lose his life,” Lutzenkirchen said.
“I would never say you get over the grieving by I’m beyond that initial grief.”
Since his son’s death, Lutzenkirchen has spoken to hundreds of school groups on his new initiative: Lutzie 43.
The Lutzie 43 Foundation was started after Philip’s death to end distracted and impaired driving.
Lutzenkirchen is teaming up with the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) to give out lanyards to young drivers, with his message, 43 key seconds.
ALEA is excited about the partnership and says they are open to anyone who wants to partner with them about safe driving.
“At the end of the day it’s about saving lives anyone that we can partner with anyone who wants too, we also want to get that message out there, because the more people that we can reach that’s more lives we can save,” ALEA State Trooper Micheal Carswell said.
So far, the Lutzie 43 Foundation has given out 50,000 lanyards across to young drivers across the country.
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