Family, friends remember Swansea firefighter killed in car crash

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ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – A St. Louis County man was charged with murder Friday following a high-speed crash that killed a Swansea firefighter.

The St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office charged Nicholas Washington, 21, with one count of second-degree murder in the death of Brett Korves, 30.

The accident occurred just after 5:50 a.m. on Thursday, April 4, at the intersection of Page Avenue and N. Warson Road in unincorporated St. Louis County.

According to police, Washington fled from authorities after they attempted to pull him over for speeding. When Washington increased his speed to over 90 miles per hour, officers ended their attempt to stop him. Officers said Washington continued speeding and driving erratically eastbound on Page Ave.

As Washington approached Page and N. Warson, he struck the car Korves was driving as he tried to make a left turn in the intersection. The crash caused Korves’s vehicle to roll over and go off the road.

Washington was arrested at the scene on suspicion of involuntary manslaughter. He was later released.

Prosecutors charged Washington on Friday, April 12 with one count of second-degree murder. He remains jailed on a $500,000 cash-only bond.

Fox 2/KPLR 11 spoke with Korves’ family Friday after the charge was filed. They didn’t want to talk about the case, choosing instead to focus on the good memories.

Korves’ younger brother, Todd, said he was an accomplished dirt-track racer.

“He was a two-time track champion here at Belle-Clair Speedway,” said Todd Korves. “He was a two-time rookie of the year, so he was loved by the racing community.”

Korves’ love of racing goes back to their childhood, said Todd adding he always looked up to his big brother.

“Brett convinced me, when I was a little boy, to be his flagman in the yard when we were growing up, so that was one of the great memories.”

The brothers were great friends. Korves was Todd’s best man at his wedding last year.

Todd says his brother’s main focus was on his family. Korves is survived by his wife and 18-month-old son.

“He was a phenomenal dad,” said Todd. “He did everything he could for Brock, his little boy.”

Korves was a third-generation firefighter who served with the Swansea Fire Department for 10 years. First responders from across the region came out to honor their fallen brother after his death.

Todd said the family is overwhelmed by the outpouring of support over the past week.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help support Korves’ wife and son.

There are also tee-shirts available for purchase that honor Korves. Proceeds will go to his wife and son as well. Shirts may be purchased at Tribout Distributors (517 S. Illinois St., Belleville) or at

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