Swansea firefighters escort body of fellow firefighter killed in accident
A Swansea firefighter who was killed earlier this month in St. Louis County left a “special miracle” for his family.
The widow of Brett Korves, Alex, learned Tuesday she is pregnant.
Brett Korves, 30, of St. Jacob, Illinois, was killed by a driver who was fleeing police. The driver struck his vehicle as Korves was making a left turn.
“You lose somebody you love so much, you lose your best friend, but before they go they leave you with one more piece of them,” said Alex Korves. “He’s gone and two weeks later we find out there’s one more piece of him left.”
The couple had been trying to get pregnant in the months leading up to Brett’s death, Alex said. She said the baby is a “miracle” for her, the couple’s 18-month-old son, Brock, and the rest of their family.
“For us and for our family, this really is like a miracle,” she said. “All I want to do is call Brett and tell him that it worked.”
She said having another piece of her late husband is a silver lining in what has been a life-changing month.
“Our whole life has been completely turned upside down,” she said. “The first week when all this happened, everyone was just in shock. I was in shock. Our whole lives just stopped.”
Brett Korves was killed April 4 when Nicholas Washingotn, 21, crashed into Korves’ car, killing him as Washington was fleeing from police, St. Louis County police said. Washington was charged with one count of second-degree murder.
In the weeks that followed, the community has rallied to the family’s side. The Swansea Fire Department set up a GoFundMe account to help support the family. To date, it has raised more than $16,000.
Alex said she struggles with the idea that her children won’t know their father.
“One day they’re going to ask where their dad is. It might not be tomorrow, it might not be in one year,” she said. “Whatever they might have, they’re going to notice their dad isn’t there.”
Brett and Alex met through dirt track racing, one of the late firefighter’s passions. They dated for several years until marrying about three years ago. She described her husband as an attentive and constantly present father to their son.
“Anything I needed, he was there,” Alex said. “When I went back to work after we had him — that’s super hard for a mom — he was able to take off to stay with Brock so I would know he was in good hands.”
The two were looking into buying a bigger house for their growing family in the months leading up to Brett’s death. Now, Alex said, she doesn’t want to leave.
Alex said the days are still hard but she’s thinking ahead for her children. She said she wants to make sure they know who their father was and what he was like.
She’s doing that by filling their home with photos of him, compiling a journal, giving Brock’s room a firefighter theme and by asking anyone who knew Brett to share their stories of him so her children can learn more about him as they grow older.
“That’s how our children are going to know how their dad was,” Alex said. “I think it’s just important to see how loved their father was by not just me but by his parents, my parents and everyone he touched.”