Two Americans were among the at least 84 killed in Nice, France, Thursday night, when a truck drove through a crowd of people celebrating Bastille Day as a suspected terrorist attack.
Sean Copeland, 51, and his son Brodie, 11, from Lakeway, Tex. were killed, family members confirmed to the Austin American-Statesman. The Copelands had traveled to Nice during a family vacation that started in the Spanish cities of Pamplona and Barcelona, the paper reported. Cousin Haley Copeland wrote on Facebook that they had been traveling with her two other cousins and an aunt to celebrate a birthday, but did not mention if they were also hurt.
“We are heartbroken and in shock over the loss of Brodie Copeland, an amazing son and brother who lit up our lives, and Sean Copeland, a wonderful husband and father,” the family said in a statement provided to the Statesman. “They are so loved.”
Jess Davis, a friend of the family, told the Statesman that Sean Copeland worked for Lexmark Corporation. Brodie Copeland played youth baseball, according to a Facebook post from a local league.
Family members also mourned their loss online Thursday night.
Heather Copeland posted two photos of Sean and Brodie Copeland, one showing both smiling widely at the camera, and the other posing at a baseball game.
“I don’t even know how to put this in words,” she wrote.
Lexmark, Sean Copeland’s employer, also said it was saddened by his death.
"Sean was not only a terrific leader in the company but a phenomenal person who will be dearly missed,” said spokesman Jerry Grasso in a statement. “Our hearts go out to Sean and his family, and for everyone who is suffering in France and elsewhere from this senseless violent act."
“This unthinkable and unfair act of terror took Sean and Brodie from the world far too soon,” Davis told the Statesman. “It is a terrible loss.”