Former Auburn tight end Philip Lutzenkirchen died early Sunday in a car accident, Auburn athletics department spokesman Kirk Sampson told USA Today Sports. He was 23.

His passing has affected many, with thousands taking to Twitter to mourn the athlete with the hashtag #RIPLutz. Lutzenkirchen was one of the best players in his position at the school and was a part of the Tigers' 2010 championship team.

"My thoughts and prayers are with Philip's parents, Mike and Mary, and all of his family and friends who are grieving his passing," Auburn Coach Gus Malzahn said in a statement. “This is a sad day for the entire Auburn family. I find peace knowing that even though Philip was taken from us too soon, that he lived his life to the fullest, leaving a lifetime of great memories for his family and friends to cherish forever."

"I'm deeply saddened by the untimely passing of Philip Lutzenkirchen," the coach continued. "He was a great young man who touched the lives of everyone he knew in a positive way. On the field, Philip was a great player and competitor, but more importantly, he was a great teammate and friend off the field.

The fatal accident apparently occurred in Troup County, just southeast of LaGrange, at 3:06 a.m., the Columbus (Georgia) Ledger-Enquirer reported. A police official told the newspaper the 2006 Chevrolet Tahoe in which Lutzenkirchen and three others were riding ran a stop sign. Lutzenkirchen reportedly was not wearing his seatbelt. The vehicle's speed was undetermined.

He was ejected from the vehicle, along with two other people. The driver of the car, Joseph Davis, also was killed and the two injured passengers were taken to West Georgia Medical Center in LaGrange, USA Today reported.

Here are some of the sentiments posted by Twitter users:

Follow me on Twitter @mariamzzarella