ELK GROVE (CBS13) – Joel Broussard’s family was devastated after the 39-year-old’s life was cut short in a horrific crash in South Sacramento.
Broussard was heading home from work to his wife and kids when tragedy struck.
His wife, Angela Broussard, hasn’t yet watched the video that captured how the deadly crash unfolded. It shows the moment of impact as a big rig fails to slow down and directly hits three cars before setting off a violent chain-reaction crash involving 11 vehicles in total.
“His hugs. That was the highlight of my day, just a big, strong hug from him,” Angela Broussard said.
She said his infectious smile lit up a room – something that comes through in photos of their life together.
“People will know to pay it forward and that will keep his life going,” Broussard said.
Joel’s sister Karona Eldemire has seen the horrifying video but didn’t realize she was watching the moment her younger brother was killed, until later.
“I hate saying was, how he is, and to see all of this,” she said.
For months, the Broussard family vowed to walk around their neighborhood every day. They hoped to stay active together during the pandemic.
“He always would find ways to bring everyone up if they were down,” said Joel’s son, Joel David Broussard II.
On Wednesday, the Broussard family walked, this time without Joel.
More than 50 neighbors joined them, to honor his life and to show this family they’re not alone.
“It helps a lot to know how much he was loved and how much of an impact he made,” said Angela Broussard.
The City of Elk Grove Vice Mayor Steve Detrick reacted to Joel’s tragic death.
In an email to CBS13 he said, in part:
“You could not help but smile and laugh when you were with Joel and his infectious smile. Even though we only saw each other every month or two, we stayed engaged together with the latest issues related to Elk Grove. He was always a voice of reason willing to cross political, social, racial and economic lines. He was a positive role model as Husband, Father and Community member. Most of all, he was a friend I could count on when I needed one. Joel has touched all five of or council members in multiple ways. At our Wednesday night September 9, 2020, Elk Grove City Council meeting, we opened the meeting in honor of Joel and all five council members took the opportunity to share about their relationship with Joel. We also closed be meeting in honor of Joel.”
There also has been a GoFundMe page to support the Broussard Family for those that would like to donate. You can find that here.