By LYNETTE HAALAND, Four Points News
Nicholas Wyzykowski has been sentenced to 18 years in prison after he admitted that he was drunk on Dec. 27, 2013 when he caused the crash that killed Steiner Ranch Elementary kindergarten teacher Peggy Howard and her son Cale, a Vandegrift High School senior.
Wyzykowski, 22, pleaded guilty Thursday to two counts of intoxication manslaughter and five counts of intoxication assault.
The accident on RM 620 N. in Four Points also sent five others to hospitals with injuries including broken backs, broken ribs, a broken neck, a broken femur and a punctured lung.
The former University of Alabama student was initially charged with 19 felonies following the incident. Other felonies in this case are pending and Wyzykowski’s next court date is Nov. 21, said Linda Estrada, Travis County court clerk.
According to court documents, Wyzykowski must serve half of his punishment before he is eligible for parole review. Once he is released, he will be placed on probation for 10 years.
Prosecutors said that on the night of the deadly crash, he had been drinking at the homes of various friends. Just hours before, his Twitter account re-tweeted, “If drinking before 5 is wrong, I don’t want to be right.”
The Travis County affidavits for warrant of Wyzykowski’s arrest and detention tells of what happened on Dec. 27 at about 11:15 p.m.
Wyzykowski was driving a Chevrolet Avalanche between 80 and 100 miles per hour southbound on RM 620 when he smashed into Peggy’s Toyota Prius, which had her son, Cale, in the passengers side and his friend in the backseat, sending them into oncoming traffic.
Peggy, 60, died at the scene and Cale, 18, died hours later at St. David’s Round Rock Medical Center.
After hitting their car, then Wyzykowski’s pickup hit a Toyota Camry in oncoming traffic and went off of the roadway, hit a tree and then a sign of the apartment complex at 7655 N. RM 620 before stopping. This was between Rudy’s Country Store and BBQ and Lamb’s Tire & Automotive.
Wyzykowski’s pickup narrowly missed the vehicle Roy Lee Floyd was in before veering off the road. Floyd helped Wyzykowski, who was only wearing a towel, out of his pickup. Then Wyzykowski fled the scene, not stopping to render aid to the victims in the two other wrecked vehicles.
Officers found Wyzykowski walking into the nearby apartment complex only wearing a towel and having marks on his body consistent with a driver’s side seat belt. Wyzykowski was taken back to the crash scene and positively identified by Floyd.
An Austin Police officer of the Driving While Intoxicated Unit arrived and noticed that Wyzykowski’s eyes were bloodshot and watery and his speech was slurred. Wyzykowski mumbled when he spoke and swayed. Foster described his attitude as “uncooperative, indifferent and cocky.”
Wyzykowski 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.
Investigating officers confirmed that the high rate of speed Wyzykowski was traveling matched the results of the crash scene.
Three occupants of the Camry were also taken to the hospital, one suffering a broken neck and another a broken back.
Wyzykowski was treated for minor injuries at the hospital before being released to the Travis County Jail.
Wyzykowski’s original 19 felony charges:
- 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