State Hornet staffer dies in car accident

Brett Johnson

State Hornet news reporter and Sacramento State student Tim Barraud is being remembered by friends and family following a car accident that lead to his death on Dec. 26.

Barraud, 22, was en route to Mexico with a group of friends to celebrate New Years when the accident occurred. While passing through Arizona on Interstate-10, the Chevrolet Astrovan he was in was hit from the rear by another vehicle.

During the collision, Barraud was thrown from the vehicle. Arizona police pronounced Barraud dead at the scene of the accident.

According to a Parker Pioneer report the driver of the other vehicle, Ulises Vasquez, was arrested and charged with second degree murder. It is not yet known if Vasquez was intoxicated at the time of the accident. A blood test is pending.

Of the other passengers in the van, two were mildly injured and one suffered a broken back.

“Tim left an impact on everyone he met,” said State Hornet reporter Kaitlin Bruce. “He was a wonderful person – full of life – and always seemed to put a smile on everyone’s face.”

Barraud grew up near Guildford, Surrey in the United Kingdom, and had been studying in Leeds, in the north of England, before applying to Sac State as part of an international exchange program.

Bruce, who had become good friends with Barraud during his time in America, said his death was the most difficult way she has ever lost someone and vows not to forget him.

“In the first week of knowing him I called him my best friend – as did many Tim knew,” Bruce said.

Fall 2011 was Barraud’s lone semester at The State Hornet.

“He always seemed to want to do his best,” former assistant news editor Sean Keister said. “Besides that, he just seemed excited to be here. He always seemed to be having a good time, making friends and visiting places.”

A memorial group for Barraud was formed on Facebook for “remembering Tim’s life and sharing experiences with him.” More than 350 of Barraud’s friends and family have been added to the group.

Barraud is survived by his mother Elaine, 54, father Guy, 58, and his brothers Peter, 30, Adam, 27, and Josh, 8.

“Tim was so full of life and achieved so much in his short time with us that you can only imagine what could have been,” Adam Barraud said.

Brett Johnson can be reached at [email protected]