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Lorain County honors firefighter who died in 2019 while helping others at crash scene

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Posted at 10:49 PM, Oct 27, 2021

ELYRIA, Oh. — For Brett Wilson’s friends and family, October 27 will always serve as a reminder that his life was cut too short.

“He was just 23 when he died,” said his mom Barb Wilson.

Wednesday evening, two years to the day of his death, firefighters throughout Lorain County joined Brett Wilson’s family to honor his ultimate sacrifice and reveal the engraving of his name on the county’s memorial for fallen police and firefighters.

“He loved his job. He loved helping people,” said Barb Wilson.

Brett Wilson was a firefighter and EMT for Columbia Township.

In 2019, Wilson heard a car crash outside of his home on Sprague Road. According to officials, the car went off of the road and hit a utility pole. He went to the crash to see if he could be of assistance.

“It wasn’t the first time he stopped on Sprague Road to help someone,” said Barb Wilson. “In the course of trying to help, electrical power lines fell on him and consequently killed him.”

Brett Wilson and the passenger of the car died that night. The driver, Keith Liedtke, is charged with aggravated vehicular homicide and operating a vehicle under the influence.

Barb Wilson said she can’t get closure until the conclusion of Liedtke’s trial, which begins in May.

“That person is still out there living. He’s still walking around and having a life and Brett doesn’t,” she said.

Ray Anthony is Columbia Township’s Fire Chief. He said the loss of Brett Wilson affected every person in the department.

“It put doubt in your mind if you still wanted to do it,” he said. “It’s something you never want to have in your career.”

But said Wilsons’s love and passion for helping is an inspiration to the department.

“There’s not a day that goes by that we don’t think of him,” he said.

His mom said he was a loving son and brother to more than just his two siblings.

“He was the youngest. He was the baby,” she said.

And with his name permanently on the county’s memorial, Anthony said he will be remembered as a hero for years to come.

“He’s a family member of ours,” he said.