Community remembers two killed in drunk driving crash

Print
Email
|

by SHANNON MURRAY / KVUE NEWS and Photojournalist CHRIS SHADROCK

Bio | Email | Follow: @ShannonM_KVUE

kvue.com

Posted on December 29, 2013 at 11:39 PM

Updated Monday, Dec 30 at 8:32 AM

TRAVIS COUNTY, Texas -- Police say a drunk driver killed a mother and son in Northwest Austin on Friday night.

Peggy Howard taught kindergarten in the Leander School District for more than 20 years, and her son Cale would have graduated this year from Vandegrift High School.

On FM 620 debris and caution tape reminds the Steiner Ranch community of the deadly crash that killed the mother and son.

"He was a really, a really cool dude," said fellow senior classmate Adaline Wisenbaker. "Everyone that knew him knew him as a funny, charismatic, awesome person. And we're just all really going to miss him."

She expected to see Cale at a friend's Tuesday night for a New Year's Eve party.

"We were just going to hang out with a bunch of friends and we were going to jump in his 40-degree pool at midnight," she said.

"I'm just sick to my stomach," said parent Karey Schaefer.

This weekend Schaefer had to break the news to her six-year-old daughter Lucy that her kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Howard, won't be in class when school starts back up.

"She said, 'I hope Mrs. Howard comes back and she's a teacher in her next life and she's teaching my class.'"

Mrs. Howard started at Steiner Ranch Elementary when the school opened in 1996.

"I'm grateful for the little time we've had her. I'm grateful she was Lucy's teacher," Schaefer said.

Police say the man charged in the crash, 21-year-old Nicolas Wyzycowski, had a blood alcohol content more than three times the legal limit. Officials say he crashed his Chevy Avalanche into the Howards' Toyota Prius traveling between 80 and 100 mph.

"This is like a small town, and you know when I saw she was a kinder teacher and my kids were going to graduate with him, and one of my kids was in band with him, I wanted to know who was responsible," said parent April Freid.

Freid found Wyzycowski's now disabled Twitter account and took screen shots.

"I think it is pretty damning evidence," Freid said.

In the tweets Freid saved, he references drinking and drug use even on the day of the crash.

"That's your online personality for people who know you or for people who don't. Seeing the posts he posted leading up to the accident, it's heartbreaking."

Wyzycowski faces 19 felony charges including two counts of manslaughter and multiple counts of felony assault for the others injured in the crash. Police say he fled the scene wearing only a towel, but a witness spotted him at a nearby apartment complex. 

Print
Email
|