System 'failed' 14-year-old Ball HS student killed in DWI crash involving parolee, parent says

Keith Brazier, 28, faces a murder charge after police say he crashed into a Jeep and killed 14-year-old Mason Nelson.

Brooke Taylor Image
Tuesday, September 6, 2022
System 'failed' boy killed in DWI crash involving parolee, parent says
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Ball High School parents are spending the Monday after a 14-year-old's death explaining to their children why one of their classmates died.

GALVESTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Mason Nelson was supposed to spend Labor Day relaxed and focused on preparing to return to class the next day.

Instead, the 14-year-old Ball High School freshman's life was taken not too far from the campus where he was just beginning to adjust to the typical teenage experience.

Nelson died last Friday evening when the Jeep he was riding in with three other teens and an adult was hit by a white SUV, which was captured on neighborhood surveillance cameras speeding down the street.

The man behind the SUV, 28-year-old Keith Brazier, had just gotten out of prison on parole hours earlier, and Galveston police believe he was drinking and driving when Nelson was killed and two others in the Jeep were critically injured.

Brazier is now charged with murder, the latest count to a man's criminal history that includes three prior DWI convictions. He's being held on a $500,000 bond.

SEE MORE: Suspected drunk driver charged in 14-year-old's death after crash in Galveston, police say

Eyewitness News tried to get a comment from Brazier's family at their home, but a family member closed the door without answering questions.

Some Ball High students and parents spent the holiday on Monday visiting Nelson's memorial and remembering the young victim's love of playing baseball and involvement in his church.

"(He was a) really good kid. Full of spirit, full of life, and life took him in the blink of an eye," a parent driving by the memorial said.

Kelby Cameron, another parent whose daughter went to school with Mason, spent the day building a cross for the memorial site.

"It's gut-wrenching. I am at a loss for words. I think everyone is. The community is hurt, angry, and just mourning right now," Cameron said.

Cameron may not be the only parent bearing the responsibility of making sense with their kids about what happened, especially since the crash involved a newly-released parolee.

ABC13 reached out to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice parole board to ask why Brazier was granted this early release and any responsibility for what happened.

There were no responses during the holiday. Eyewitness News will continue to call and push for answers.

"They failed. They failed this one," Cameron said of the parole board.

Meanwhile, a parent of one of the students hurt says her child is OK and now out of the hospital. The two who were critically injured remain in the hospital Monday.

The incident marks the latest fatal crash on the island related to impaired driving in recent weeks.

The most recent incident involved a man on a scooter who was hit on Aug. 18.

Before that, on Aug. 6, two children and two adults - all part of the same family - died when the golf cart they were in was hit by a driver.

SEE MORE: 2 children, 2 adults killed after drunk driver crashes into golf cart in Galveston, police say

Scooter crash marks Galveston's 5th death in DUI wrecks in over a week

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