Bastille Day Attack: The Two Americans Killed Were A Father & His 11-Year-Old Son

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The personal stories are what make this all the more heartbreaking.

On Thursday night in Nice, France, a truck driver went on a mile-long rampage, killing at least 84 people and injuring hundreds more — including dozens that are still fighting for their lives — as the country celebrated Bastille Day.

Related: Attack Eyewitness Outrages World With ‘Shopping Trip’ Comments

And even though we were already aware that two Americans had been killed in the tragedy, it’s even more gut-wrenching now to learn more about the lives lost — in this case, a father and son taken far too soon.

Sean Copeland, 51, and his 11-year-old son, Brodie, were killed in the attack as they were enjoying the Bastille Day festivities in the middle of a family vacation to the south of France.

The father and son, from a small town in Texas, were watching fireworks and enjoying their time together with the rest of the family when tragedy struck, according to family friend Bill Bishop.

Bishop spoke to People about the Copelands, a family that will be remembered for far more than just those final moments (below):

“It just doesn’t seem right. On vacation, having fun and celebrating something, to have someone’s life taken. It’s so fragile. It just doesn’t seem fair.”

The Copelands had been in Europe since early July, and were planning on staying nearly through the end of the month, traveling around the continent and seeing all the sites.

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The vacation was to be a celebration for Sean’s wife, Kim, who turns 40 on Monday, as well as for his eldest son Austin, who turned 22 back on July 6.

As part of that celebration, Sean and Austin had gone running with the bulls when they were in Pamplona, Spain, before coming to Nice on the next leg of their trip.

Sean, who Bishop describes as a “very hands-on father,” and Brodie were very close — and they specifically connected over baseball together, just as pictured (above).

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In fact, the week before their Europe trip, the Lakeway, Texas family had been in Panama City Beach, Florida, for one of Brodie’s baseball tournaments. Bishop said:

“They were just a great family, loved baseball and loved being together and doing everything as a family. That’s what Brodie and Sean would want people to celebrate: the fun times they had as a family. Sean just really enjoyed being with Brodie, whatever it was, whatever he wanted to do. His love was being with his family.”

Bishop also revealed that before the trip, Kim showed some apprehension about going to Europe in light of other recent terror attacks.

Related: Celebs React To Bastille Day Attack

For now, Bishop reports the rest of the family left in Europe — which includes Austin and Maegan, 29, kids from Sean’s previous marriage — seems to be “holding up okay.”

They are now concerned with getting home and bringing back Sean’s and Brodie’s bodies to Texas.

Bishop summed it up in the most heartbreaking way:

“I think she just wants to get home and get her family home. That was Kim’s whole life though, those two guys, those two men.”

So, so sad.

Our thoughts and prayers are with this family, and every other family, friend, and loved one that is today dealing with the aftermath of an unspeakable, senseless tragedy.

[Image via Heather Copeland/Twitter.]

Jul 15, 2016 4:42pm PDT

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