Park bench dedicated to Joël Broussard in Elk Grove

According to the California Highway Patrol, a tractor-trailer was approaching slower traffic on the freeway but, for unknown reasons, did not slow down.

ELK GROVE, Calif. — An 11-car pile-up claimed the life of 39-year-old Joel Broussard. It happened in September 2020 and now the driver of the big truck involved is charged with Broussard’s death.

Family and friends of Joel Broussard gathered Friday at Elk Grove Park as a permanent marker in the community was installed.

ABC10 spoke with his widow and mother about Joel’s legacy.

“Well when you sit on a bench and look at what’s in front of you,” said Angie Broussard, wife of Joël Broussard. “Children have so much life. They don’t think about what’s going to happen tomorrow or what happened yesterday.”

Angie went on to say that Joel showed them how precious life is.

“I find I feel it the most when I think of a funny memory and laugh,” Joe’s mother Irma said.

Joël’s park bench was delivered and installed on Friday morning. Angie and Irma had the first chance to see him. Later in the afternoon, a ceremony filled with community members to honor Joe’s life. Her children seated on the bench.

Now, whenever they come to the park or walk around on their daily walks, they feel at peace.

“It’s a beautiful day and we feel it here with us,” Irma said.

For anyone who knew Joel and even strangers, it’s a permanent place to enjoy the present.

“He wants us to live, he wants us to live in the moment and enjoy the moment,” Irma said.

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