Principal remembers Leander kindergarten teacher killed in crash

Principal remembers Leander kindergarten teacher killed in crash

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As the holidays roll by, the hallways of Steiner Ranch Elementary School are dimly lit.  Students won't be back for another couple of weeks.  But when Peggy Howard's kindergarten class comes back, something will be different.

"She just was such a loving person, so calm all the time.  Nothing ever ruffled her feathers, she always had a smile on her face," said Steiner Ranch Principal Susan Fambrough.

Fambrough says Peggy Howard had been teaching at Steiner since 1996 and other schools years before that.

On Friday night a little after 11, Austin Police say a 21-year-old man named Nicholas Wyzykowski was speeding down FM 620.  He rear-ended 60-year-old Howard and her 18-year-old son Cale, pushing their Toyota Prius into oncoming traffic.  Police say Wyzykowski's Chevy Avalanche also went into the other lane, striking a Toyota Camry, injuring at least 5 others.

Howard was pronounced dead at the scene while her son died later at a Round Rock hospital.

APD says Wyzykowski -- who allegedly appeared intoxicated -- ran from the scene into a nearby apartment complex where police found him and arrested him.

When she learned what happened, principal Fambrough called staff members and the parents of all of Howard's students to tell them the news -- news that's tough for a kindergartner to grasp.

"That was one of the questions that I asked each parent is -- 'Will this be your child's first experience with a death of someone that they know, an adult that's close to them?  So I just provided them with some resources and children's books and some links that they could go to that might help to guide that discussion," she said.

Fambrough says Howard leaves behind a husband and 2 college-aged boys.  She says Cale was active in the Vandergrift High School band.  Sunday afternoon there was a student support gathering at the high school for his friends.

"Her high school student and her college-aged boys would come up here quite often and be in the classroom with her, bring her coffee.  Just a lovely person and we're really going to miss her a lot," Fambrough said.

Police tell us Wyzykowski was charged at the scene with 19 felonies.  Including multiple counts of failure to stop and render aid, intoxicated assault and of course intoxication manslaughter.

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