Family and friends pay final respects to fallen Swansea firefighter

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BELLEVILLE, IL - Friends, family and first responders from across the Metro East gathered Tuesday (April 9) to honor a Swansea firefighter killed in an off-duty car crash.

Brett Korves, 30, was a third-generation firefighter and a 10-year veteran of the Swansea Fire Department.

"Whether it was a fire call, or a community event, or somebody that wanted to have a birthday party at the firehouse, he was just there to support them," said Bryan Whitaker, spokesperson for the Swansea Fire Department.

Korves was killed Thursday morning (April 4) when his car was hit by another car in unincorporated St. Louis County. Korves was on his way to a second job in north St. Louis County.

On Friday, the Swansea Fire Department escorted Korves back to Illinois.

Hundreds of people, some waiting hours, visited with Korves's family at the Kurrus Funeral Home in Belleville. In addition to being a firefighter, Korves was a popular dirt-track racer, and his family owns a local business.

Among the family members left behind, Korves is survived by his wife, Alex, and 18-month-old son, Brock. The department set up a GoFundMe account to help support his family.

"Insurance covers a lot, but, at the end of the day, Brock's got a lot of growing up to do, and Alex is going to need some help, and we're going to be there for the rest of their lives," said Whitaker.

The 21-year-old driver of the other vehicle involved in the crash was arrested on suspicion of involuntary manslaughter. He has since been released. St. Louis County police say the investigation continues.

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