Metro-East News

Driver charged in fatal crash with Swansea firefighter, was fleeing police

Swansea firefighters escort body of fellow firefighter killed in accident

Brett Korves, of St. Jacob, Illinois, a 10-year veteran of the Swansea Fire Department, was killed in a car crash in St. Louis County. His fellow firefighters, friends, and family attended a procession ending at the Swansea Fire Department.
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Brett Korves, of St. Jacob, Illinois, a 10-year veteran of the Swansea Fire Department, was killed in a car crash in St. Louis County. His fellow firefighters, friends, and family attended a procession ending at the Swansea Fire Department.

St. Louis police are now saying the driver of a car that crashed into a Swansea firefighter’s car and killing him was fleeing from police. The driver of the vehicle, Nicholas Washington, 21, of the 10300 block of Forest Brook Lane in St. Louis was charged Friday with one count of second-degree murder.

Washington was being held by St. Louis County police on a $500,000 cash only bond. Washington was driving the car that killed Swansea firefighter Brett Korves, 30, at 5:51 a.m. on April 4 on Page Avenue and North Warson Road in St. Louis County.

St. Louis County Police Sgt. Shaun McGuire said the probable cause statement says Washington was fleeing from police and resisting arrest.

“Police had attempted to conduct a lawful stop earlier after seeing Washington the defendant engage in a series of moving violations” while he was driving his Camaro. But after Washington increased his speed and was driving over 90 m.p.h., police terminated their pursuit,, McGuire said.

And even after police stopped their pursuit, Washington continued to drive at an excessive speed, McGuire said. “He drove erratically and created substantial risk of serious injury or death to any person

St. Louis County Police Sgt. Benjamin Granda said he did not know why or where officers tried to stop the vehicle but said an investigation was ongoing. Detectives from the St. Louis County Police Department’s Bureau of Crimes Against Persons are conducting the investigation.

“At the intersection of Page and Warson Road, the defendant (Washington), while traveling over 90 mph, crashed into the vehicle of Brett Korves, causing his death,” McGwire said.

Korves was trying to make a left turn in his Chevrolet Cruze when the Camaro struck his vehicle.

Korves, a 10-year veteran of the Swansea Fire Department, and third generation firefighter, was laid to rest Wednesday. He leaves behind a wife, Alex, and an 18-month-old son, Brock. The Swansea Fire Department set up a GoFundMe account to help support his family.

Kavahn Mansouri covers government accountability for the Belleville News-Democrat, holding officials and institutions accountable and tracking how taxpayer money is spent.
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