SRE teacher was picking up VHS son from movies before they were killed by a drunk driver

Updated 12-31-13.

By LYNETTE HAALAND, Four Points News

Nicholas Michael Justin Wyzycowski, 21, is in Travis County Jail tonight charged with 19 felony charges including two counts of manslaughter and two counts of intoxication manslaughter after rear-ending Peggy Howard’s car on Friday night, killing her and later her son.

Peggy Howard

Peggy Howard

Peggy, a Steiner Ranch Elementary kindergarten teacher, was pronounced dead at the scene and her son, Cale Howard, died several hours later at Round Rock Hospital. He was a Vandegrift High School senior and active in band and other activities. The funerals are set for Saturday.

Cale Howard

Cale Howard 

Witnesses say Wyzycowski’s pickup was traveling between 80 and 100 mph southbound on FM 620 at around 11:15 on Fri., Dec. 27. His Chevrolet Avalanche rear-ended Peggy’s Toyota Prius sending both vehicles into oncoming traffic. Records show his address is reportedly in the Canyon Creek area.KVUE - Crash Scene

The photo of the crash is courtesy of KVUE.

On Sun. afternoon, a Student Support gathering offered Leander ISD counseling at VHS. Reports from that event say that Peggy was worried about late-night driving and dropped her son off at the movies with friend Wolfgang Sargent, also a senior at VHS.

Peggy later went back to pick them up and that is when her car was rear-ended and shoved all the way across FM 620, ultimately stopping close to Tintara at Canyon Creek apartments near Lamb’s and Rudy’s.

The Wolfgang was in the back seat on the passenger side and survived the crash with a broken femur, his mother said.

Peggy is survived by her husband and two college-aged sons. She taught at SRE since it opened in 1996. Principal Susan Fambrough spoke with KVUE News about it:

“Devastation, just absolute sadness. Because how do you explain to a 5-year-old that their teacher is gone. And so we’re just really going to miss her a lot.”

Fambrough said staff and parents have notified and SRE staff and counselors will talk directly with the kindergarteners when school starts again on Mon., Jan. 6.

On Friday night after smashing into Peggy’s car, Wyzycowski’s pickup hit a Toyota Camry in oncoming traffic and then a masonry apartment sign. After getting help out of his vehicle, he fled the scene only wearing a towel. Witnesses pointed him out to officers at a nearby apartment complex.

Three occupants of the Camry were also taken to the hospital, one suffering a broken neck and another a broken back. 

Altogether five people were injured including broken ribs, two broken backs, a broken neck, a broken pelvis, a broken femur and a punctured lung.

The investigating officer reported that Wyzykowski was “uncooperative, indifferent and cocky.” He told officers they could get his blood sample from an attorney in a few days.

But a test was run for medical purposes and he had a blood-alcohol content more than three times the legal Texas limit measuring 0.27, according to the Police arrest affidavits.

 Reports show Wyzykowski faces 19 felony charges and his bond for all totaling $185,000:

  • 2 counts of Intoxication Manslaugter, a 2nd degree felony
  • 2 counts of Manslaugter, a 2nd degree felony
  • 4 counts of Intoxication Assault, a 3rd degree felony
  • 4 counts of Aggravated Assault, a 2nd degree felony
  • 5 counts of Failure to Stop and Render Aid in the 3rd degree
  • 2 counts of Failure to Stop and Render Aid in the 2nd degree

Wyzykowski was treated for minor injuries at the hospital before being released to the Travis County Jail.