GALVESTON — The brother of a local priest was killed Sunday morning after a pickup struck the man and another person when it veered off Seawall Boulevard and down to the beach.

Police identified the deceased as Raphael Flajole, 52, of Lake Orion, Mich. Flajole was the brother of Father John Paul Flajole of the Holy Family Parish of Galveston and Bolivar Peninsula.

Police said Raphael Flajole was visiting the island with family. Father John Flajole recently celebrated the 50th anniversary of his ordination as a Catholic priest.

According to police, shortly after 7 a.m., a red Ford Super-Duty pickup had just turned westbound from 21st Street and Seawall Boulevard when it veered across all lanes of traffic and struck Raphael Flajole and another man, Shane Sabala, 48, who were standing on the sidewalk in front of Murdoch’s, Bathhouse, 2201 Seawall Boulevard.

The truck then drove over the store’s steps before heading over the seawall and crashing onto the beach.

Raphael Flajole was pronounced dead on the scene. Sabala was taken to John Sealy Hospital at the University of Texas Medical Branch, where he was in stable but serious condition.

The driver, who police identified as Kevin Wade Wilson, 49, was taken to the medical branch for treatment of minor injuries. Wilson was charged with manslaughter and aggravated assault and is being held on $750,000 in bonds.

Police said Wilson is on probation for a previous narcotics conviction. However, police had not yet determined whether drugs or alcohol played a role in the accident.

Contact reporter Wes Swift at 409-683-5319 or

(6) comments

Gary Miller

Was the fatality a passenger in the truck or one of the pedestrains?

JoAnne Gilmore


Gary Vasser

How very sad.
I hope more information will be forthcoming.

Mary Branum

The Houston Chronicle updated this tragic accident at 1:51 pm.
The fatality was the brother of a local priest celebrating 50 years in the priesthood this weekend.


Island resident...could you email me the Houston papers article please, as I don't have access and am connected to this tragedy here in Michigan? Thanks if you can do it or link to any other TX local articles /information.


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