Scott Garcie, 19, had just graduated from Hahnville High School and was planning to study engineering. 

Henry Aucoin, 40, was looking forward to celebrating his third anniversary with his wife on a beach in Florida this summer.

Instead, the two strangers collided in a deadly crash this week on U.S. 90 in Waggaman, leaving family members grieving over lives cut short.  

In an interview, Garcie’s mother, Melinda Price-Bedi, said she had been told by investigators that her son may have been going as fast as 120 mph when he lost control of the Porsche Carrera he was driving. The car belonged to Elroy Lauman, 54, her ex-husband, who was a passenger and also died in the crash.

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Fighting back tears, she extended an apology to Aucoin's family, including his wife and two children. 

“Young people, please don’t speed,” Price-Bedi said. “Let your parents know where you’re going to be.”

In a separate interview, Aucoin's wife Brithney said she was struggling with the thought of having to go on without her husband, whom she described as a doting father to their daughter Maliyah, 3, and his son from a previous relationship, Collin, 11.

“He loved us more than anything in the world,” said Brithney Aucoin, 34. 

Price-Bedi said her son had his share of challenges. His father was incarcerated when he was a senior in high school. He and his mother had to move to Algiers as she went through a contentious divorce.

But Garcie kept up his school work, played goalkeeper for Hahnville’s varsity soccer team and took jobs at pizza restaurants to help out with expenses, she said.

He set his sights on an engineering degree from LSU-Shreveport, which was near his grandfather’s home.

Price-Bedi said her son — whose survivors include several siblings — had been talking to Lauman about help in buying two used motorcycles and a trailer. Garcie had just completed a Harley-Davidson motorcycle training course, and he planned to keep one of the bikes for himself while giving the other to her, Price-Bedi said.

She didn’t realize the two men had planned to get together Tuesday morning or that Garcie would be driving Lauman’s 2001 Porsche 911 Carrera.

Brithney Aucoin said a cousin had introduced her to her husband, who courted her relentlessly through the social media network Instagram until he finally won her.

Supporting his household was time-consuming for Henry, who grew up in the Acadia Parish town of Crowley before moving to New Orleans.

He was working for the Red, White & Blue Thrift Store, driving a truck to pick up donated items. On the side, he worked security at local nightclubs. 

Still, his widow said, he carved out time to travel and relax with his family. He arranged his delivery routes to pass by the gym where Brithney worked out in the morning so he could steal a hug or kiss from her — which he called “filling up my bucket one last time” — before continuing with his work.

She said she missed him the day he died because the gym was closed for renovations. 

She became worried when he didn't respond to any phone calls or text messages. 

Then one of his co-workers sent her a message asking her to call. He broke the news over the phone that Aucoin had been killed in a crash at about 9 that morning.

State Police on Wednesday wouldn’t comment on the case beyond the preliminary details released a day earlier. They said Tuesday that Garcie apparently was speeding when he crossed into oncoming traffic and hit Aucoin’s Penske truck in the 5000 block of U.S. 90.

But both Price-Bedi and Brithney Aucoin described being told by investigators that the fiery crash happened after Garcie’s Porsche went airborne as he drove over a bridge in the roadway with a slight hump.

One thing Aucoin couldn’t stop thinking about since then was a third anniversary trip together to Miami in August that won’t happen.

“He worked so hard, and all he wanted to do was sit by the beach, hang around the Jacuzzi and not have to do anything,” his widow said. “Now, he can’t even do that.”

Follow Ramon Antonio Vargas on Twitter, @RVargasAdvocate.

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