RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) - Austin Webster’s family is sharing thoughts and memories of the 27-year-old after he was killed in a horrific crash on I-40 in Raleigh Friday.
Investigators said a cement truck driver caused a chain reaction. Austin died at the scene.
The Websters aren’t focused on the how or why of the crash; instead on Austin and all he accomplished.
“He was incredibly deep,” said Austin's sister, Audrie Sa. “He would go talk to strangers on the street if they needed help."
Austin was the middle child in this tight knit family.
“He was clever and very funny,” Sa said.
"That's my big brother. I can't begin to explain that in any other way than just being my big brother,” said Austin's younger brother Andrew Webster.
Austin was a musician, an avid reader, a would-be movie critic, and most recently, an environmentalist focused on solar energy.
“Austin made everybody he came into contact with a better person,” said mother Teri Webster.
Austin was headed to the beach Friday to meet his family to celebrate his sister’s 30th birthday.
“He was heading our way, so I know he was in a good mood,” Sa said.
In a split second, everything changed. Since then, there’s been an outpouring of support and love. People from all over want the family to know how much Austin meant to them.
Austin’s father is Richard Webster, who is the former Chatham County Sheriff. He said he learned a lot from his son.
“I have shortcomings that I didn't know I had,” Richard said, reflecting on his son’s life.
The family has also found lists Austin made.
“Wrote out these lists of how he wanted to be a better person. Who does that?” Sa said.
"All his flaws,” Andrew explained.
"Austin does,” Teri replied.
The lists, they said, included bullet points with steps and goals.
“He's inspired me a great deal to be more like him,” Richard said.
“We're going to finish his list for him. We're going to do it the best we can. I don't know if we can get to his level, but we're sure damn going try,” Sa said.
Austin’s funeral is scheduled for Saturday.
In lieu of flowers the family asks that donations be made in Austin’s memory to: United Solar Initiative, Inc., 50101 Governors Drive Suite 280 Chapel Hill, N.C., 27517.