California family shattered after fatal wrong-way crash in Austin

6:51 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017 Local
A crash Saturday afternoon on Research Boulevard killed two people and left this car mangled. Ralph Barrera / American-Statesman

Of the family of four hit by a suspected drunken driver Saturday afternoon on Research Boulevard, it’s possible that only the 10-year-old girl who was in the backseat at the time will survive, her grandfather said Tuesday.

The Latulippe family is from California and had flown to Austin to visit friends, said Jim Enos, whose 38-year-old daughter and 14-year-old grandson were killed in the crash. When the crash happened, the family was on the way to the airport to return home.

Guy Brasted, 41, is facing two counts of intoxication manslaughter in the crash. Brasted was driving a Jeep north on Research Boulevard when he lost control, crossed a highway-dividing cable into the southbound lanes and collided head-on with a Fiat carrying the Latulippe family, Austin police have said. The crash happened about 3:30 p.m., just west of MoPac Boulevard (Loop 1).

RELATED: Four deaths make for grim weekend on Austin roads

Nancy Latulippe, 38, and her son, 14-year-old Jackson Latulippe, died at the scene, police said. The father, 41-year-old Scott Latulippe, was rushed to Dell Seton Medical Center with traumatic brain damage and is not expected to survive, Enos said. The family is from Valley Center, Calif.

Brasted, whose blood alcohol content was 0.203, was also injured in the crash, his arrest affidavit says. He is currently being held in Travis County Jail with bail set at $200,000.

Records show Brasted had been a Marine assigned to Camp Pendleton in the late 1990s near Oceanside, Calif. — less than 20 miles from the Latulippes’ hometown of Valley Center in San Diego County. According to his LinkedIn profile, Brasted recently worked as a trucker in New Mexico and, until his crash in Austin, had no record of drunken driving or any other felony.

Kiera Latulippe, 10, is now out of the hospital, Enos said. Her grandmother is currently with her in Austin, and they plan to return home later this week.

“She had very little physical damage, but she did see everything that happened,” Enos said.

CRASH VICTIMS: Friends mourn former Eastside Memorial students after crash

If Scott Latulippe dies from his injuries, Brasted will likely also be charged with a third count of intoxication manslaughter, Enos said. Brasted is currently facing an intoxication assault charge for Scott’s injuries, in addition to the two other manslaughter charges.

Enos said the crash illustrates the horrifying dangers of drunken driving.

“Rational people say, ‘If I’m impaired, I can call Uber or Lyft,’ but when people are drunk, they’re irrational. They believe they’re bulletproof, and they put everybody in danger. (Brasted) wiped out one of the finest families,” Enos said, his voice breaking.

WEEK IN CRIME: Sign up for our weekly email newsletter on Austin-area crime

Scott Latulippe is a video and digital media teacher who also teaches driver’s education at Valley Center High School, where Jackson Latulippe was a freshman, Enos said. Nancy Latulippe had returned to work as a supervisor at GEICO Insurance Co. after spending several years as a stay-at-home mom.

The Valley Center Community Aid Group is accepting donations for the family, which Enos said will help him and his wife take care of Kiera. Those who would like to contribute can make checks payable to VCCAG, designated for the Latulippe Family, and mail to VCCAG, P.O. Box 962, Valley Center, CA 92082.