Donate to the Brian Wood Memorial Trust

Labor Day morning I saw a story making its way around Twitter that Brian R. Wood had been killed by a drugged and reckless driver. She was apparently high and driving a carload of similarly intoxicated friends around in her Blazer when she decided to take off her sweater, and asked her friend to hold the wheel. The friend sent the car into the oncoming lane and killed Brian, along with passengers in the back of the Blazer.

Brian’s pregnant wife, Erin, was in the car with him. A day later, it came out that Brian saw the collision was inevitable, and turned so that his Subaru Outback took the impact broadside rather than head-on. In other words, he put himself between that car and his nascent family. If his death was tragic, it was also rather heroic.

The death got a lot of attention in the gaming community because Brian had worked as a designer on the Company of Heroes series, probably one of the best and boldest RTS games released in the last decade, and was at the helm of the new Company of Heroes Online project. At 33, he had already done great work and was set to ascend to the top of his profession.

A day later, I found out that he was also a member of my fraternity, the Mu Chapter of Phi Kappa Tau at Lawrence University. He left a couple years before I started there. Lawerence is a small school and Mu Chapter is a pretty tight-knit group, with a long history of being a haven for some of the most intensely nerdy and talented young men at the school.

For all these reasons, I haven’t really been able to stop thinking about this tragedy. I didn’t know Brian, but he was a member of one of my extended families, and also a member of the community to which I belong. Doubly then, I feel he is one ours.

His friends and family started a fund to take care of his wife and their child. It would mean a great deal if you could donate. What happened should not have happened, and he died taking care of his family. If we can help, as brothers, schoolmates, colleagues, appreciative fans, or just people of compassion, then we should.

More details at the website for the Brian Wood Memorial Trust.

    • Spades
    • September 11th, 2010 12:48pm

    Wow thats some heroic shit.

    • Dan
    • September 12th, 2010 1:48pm

    I’ve heard of this guy. I am pretty sure that Eric Traband has mentioned him. I don’t know if they were in the house at the same time, but I feel like he might have been somewhere in Traband’s family line.

    This is so incredibly sad.

    • Dan
    • September 12th, 2010 1:50pm

    After a birthday check on Facebook, Trabes is also 33, so they must have been in the house at the same time.

    • Eric
    • September 13th, 2010 5:18pm

    Dan is correct. I knew Brian @ LU. He was a transfer student and rushed him hard. It was obvious from early on that he was a Mu kind of man. Brian and I were not close, but I respected him as a brother, a musician and man. It comes as no surprise to us that knew him that he made such a selfless choice.

    Damn Proud.

  1. Wow. I heard of his heroic death (very tragic) but was unaware he was a brother. That is even more depressing than ever :(

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