Sean and Brodie Copeland, a father and son from Lakeway, Texas, were among those killed during the July 14 terror attack in Nice, France, that left 84 people dead. Now, Kim Copeland is speaking out about the day she lost both her 11-year-old son and her husband of 12 years.
Moments before the tragedy, the family had been watching a fireworks display celebrating Bastille Day along the Promenade des Anglais. “All of a sudden, I hear my husband scream, ‘Watch out!’ and I look up and see a big white truck headed straight toward us,” she told NBC News on Thursday, August 4.
It was too late. By the time Kim reached Brodie, he was gone. Sean, 51, lived a few hours longer, the entire time asking about his son.
“We were that family that was all over. ‘Two Americans have died,’ and that’s us. That’s our two Americans,” Kim, 40, told NBC News. “It was a nightmare. It is a nightmare.”
The Copelands — including Sean’s two children from a previous marriage, Maegan, 29, and Austin, 22 — were on a family vacation that started with the running of the bulls in Pamplona, Spain.
“I don’t regret going … because we had the most amazing days and minutes together as a family of five that I wouldn’t take back,” Kim shared.
The hardest part about day-to-day life: being home. “The house … the house that we built together that we wanted to live in forever is empty,” Kim said through tears. Yet, she is determined to keep going. “I get up and go for them, so that they know I’m OK. Because neither one of them would want me to be sad.”
According to a memorial page, Sean graduated from the University of North Texas in Denton and worked for Lexmark Corporation as the vice president of North and South America for the company’s Kapow Software Division.
Brodie, who played baseball for Dripping Spring, Texas’ Hill Country Baseball league, was remembered by loved ones on the team’s Facebook page. “Two of the greatest men. We will miss you #8. You will be missed but we know you were needed for bigger and better things,” wrote one person, while another commented: “No words can describe how we feel. Sean and Brodie touched our lives in so many ways. Such a good man and such a great kid and teammate.”