Former student remembers teacher killed in crash


by JADE MINGUS / KVUE NEWS and Photojournalist ERIN COKER

Bio | Email | Follow: @JadeM_KVUE

Posted on December 30, 2013 at 7:32 PM

Updated Monday, Dec 30 at 9:20 PM

TRAVIS COUNTY -- A teddy bear, flowers, a photo and a note honor Peggy Howard, a kindergarten teacher at Steiner Ranch Elementary, killed along with her 18-year-old son, Cale, in a drunk driving crash Friday.

"I definitely remember her as being so warm and loving. You can tell she was exactly where she wanted to be and doing what she wanted to do in life," said former student Christine Hughes. 

Hughes started a petition on asking classmates to commit to not drinking and driving.

"I just hope other people will realize this is not a joke, and you have to make a conscious choice to never do it," said Hughes.

Hughes said she also knew the man charged in connection to the drunk driving crash, 21-year-old Nicholas Wyzykowski. They both attended the University of Alabama after attending high school in Central Texas.

"I certainly never thought he would make such a catastrophic mistake," said Hughes. 

According to arrest paperwork, Wyzykowski ran away from the scene at RM 620 near 2222 only wearing a towel. His blood alcohol content was three times the legal limit. Police said he crashed his Chevy Avalanche into the back of a Toyota Prius the Howards rode in and then hit a third car. Peggy and Cale Howard died and five others went to the hospital.

A Leander ISD parent says a memorial service is tentatively set for Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m. at Austin Baptist Church near 2222.

According to court documents, Wyzykowski was also arrested in 2009 for trying to strangle his brother over the use of a computer.