Wednesday, July 30, 2014

‘A huge heart’: Man killed on freeway was friend to all

From page A1 | January 09, 2014 |


Bryson LaBourdette, 25, of Davis, was killed early Tuesday morning when he was struck while trying to cross Highway 50 on foot. Courtesy photo

Bryson Rush LaBourdette embraced numerous interests during his lifetime: baseball, cars and snowboarding, to name just a few.

But the 25-year-old Davis man was perhaps best known for being a firm and loyal friend, one who would lend a hand to anyone who needed it, his family said Wednesday.

“Somebody would call and he’d be there,” even in the middle of the night, father Kirk LaBourdette said. “Bryson had a huge heart. He’d help anybody, almost down to a fault.”

Bryson LaBourdette lost his life Tuesday morning while trying to cross westbound Highway 50 on foot in West Sacramento, where he had been en route to pick up materials for the family construction business, according to his father.

While driving eastbound toward Sacramento, “he got a flat tire and wound up against the center median,” Kirk LaBourdette said. Bryson didn’t have his cell phone with him, and it’s believed he was headed somewhere in search of help when he was struck by several vehicles.

He died instantly, his father said.

California Highway Patrol Officer Cindy Leal said Wednesday that the incident remains under investigation, but officers believe they have made contact with all three drivers who were involved in the fatal collision.

Leal cautioned that freeway traffic approaches much faster than is oftentimes perceived, and she recommends that drivers of disabled vehicles either leave the freeway or, if that’s not possible, stay inside or near their cars with their hazard lights flashing until help arrives.

The tragedy has devastated both family and friends of Bryson LaBourdette, who according to his father was engaged to marry his fiancée, Amanda-Rose Smith, later this year and had long-range plans to take over the family business.

“He was going to be a fourth-generation contractor. He loved creating and building things his whole life,” Kirk LaBourdette said. The passion began in childhood with Legos and building blocks, “and kept going on from there.”

“He’d make a room light up when he came in,” he added. “We’re going to miss him.”

Bryson’s younger sister, Korinne LaBourdette, said her brother was “very protective” of her and their other sibling, 20-year-old Autumn — a role he also served for friends of the girls who didn’t have brothers of their own.

“If we were in trouble, he was the first person we were able to call,” said Korinne, 22, whose 6-year-old son Ashton was his uncle’s “pride and joy.”

“He was very involved” in Ashton’s life, helping to coach the boy’s T-ball team last year and providing him with extra batting and throwing practice. “He loved kids.”

Bryson also was looking forward to marrying Smith, 22, and was active in helping to plan the Aug. 16 event, his sister said.

“We didn’t think he would be, but he surprised us all,” Korinne said.

A memorial service is planned for 10 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 18, at the Davis Christian Assembly, 3030 Sycamore Lane, with a celebration of life to follow at the same location.

In addition to his father, sisters, nephew and fiancée, Bryson also is survived by his mother, Vicki LaBourdette, and other extended family members. His beloved pit bull, Boss, was usually by his side.

The family is hoping to create a memorial sponsorship program for underprivileged youths with Davis Little League, where Bryson played throughout his childhood. His father, who coached him all those years, said he would draft children from local group homes to play on his teams, and that outreach was important to Bryson as well.

“He loved Little League, and having those kids come from those homes meant a lot to him,” Kirk LaBourdette said. “It got these kids into something they otherwise wouldn’t have a chance to do.”

— Reach Lauren Keene at or 530-747-8048. Follow her on Twitter at @laurenkeene



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