Report: AU golf staffer over 3 times legal alcohol limit - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Report: AU golf staffer over 3 times legal alcohol limit at time of crash

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Former Auburn women's golf All-American, LPGA Tournament player and Auburn Director of Golf Operations Danielle Downey had a blood alcohol concentration more than three times the legal limit at the time of the crash that killed her, according to a traffic crash report.

According to the report released by the Alabama Department of Public Safety, Downey's BAC was .242 percent.

Alabama State Troopers say Downey, 33, was killed after losing control of her 2011 Hyundai Sonata along Lee County Road 57 approximately four miles outside of Auburn the night of Jan. 30. Downey's car struck a tree and overturned several times. She was not wearing a seatbelt and was thrown from the vehicle.

Downey was rushed by ambulance to East Alabama Medical Center but was pronounced dead upon arrival. Authorities say Downey died as a result of a massive head injury and multiple blunt force impact injuries.

According to the crash report, a witness said Downey's vehicle passed her at a high rate of speed while they were both traveling northbound on Lee Road 57. After Downey's vehicle traveled back into the northbound lane, the vehicle jerked left and ran off the road and started flipping, according to the witness.

The witness said she couldn't see if something possibly ran out in front of Downey's vehicle, according to the report.

According to the report, a friend of Downey's told troopers she, Downey and some other friends had been at a restaurant in Auburn to eat and have drinks, and Downey appeared to have had too much to drink.

"[The friend] stated she was waiting on her sister to pick her up and tried to get [Downey's] keys from her and get her to ride with them, but [Downey] stated that she was fine and that she was tired of waiting on a ride," the report stated.


"I'm absolutely devastated," Auburn head women's golf coach Kim Evans said. "Danielle meant so much to me, the girls and this program. Not only did she give much of her life to Auburn as a student-athlete and as a mentor to these young women, but she was so instrumental to this team during some tough times over the past year. Danielle was like a daughter to me."

"This is a tragic and devastating loss for Danielle's family, our student-athletes and staff and the entire Auburn family," Director of Athletics Jay Jacobs said. "Danielle cared deeply about people and she was loved by all who knew her. She impacted a lot of lives here as a player and a member of our staff. Our hearts go out to Danielle's mother and father, her sisters and all who knew and loved her. She will be dearly missed."


A native of Rochester, N.Y., Downey was in her second season serving as the Director of Operations after returning to Auburn to complete her degree. She graduated in May of 2013 with her degree in health promotion.

She played at Auburn from 1999-2003, earning All-America honors in 2000, 2002 and 2003. She was All-SEC all four years, earning first-team honors three times, and was the 2000 SEC Tournament champion. She also led Auburn to SEC team championships in 2000 and 2003.

After leaving Auburn, she went on to play on the LPGA and Futures Tours. During her time on the Futures Tour, she notched seven top-10 finishes and one tournament victory, taking top honors at the 2004 Lima Memorial Hospital Futures Golf Classic. On the LPGA Tour, Downey finished in the money at 15 tournaments, including a career best tie for fourth at the 2008 Bell Micro LPGA Classic.

She returned to the Plains during the 2012-13 season, taking the place of head coach Kim Evans, who had been diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Under her guidance the team earned a place in the NCAA Championship, where Auburn took 6, the team's best finish at the tournament in eight years.

Auburn officials say a local memorial will held in the coming days, but details have not yet been made available.

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