‘Selfless’ man killed in B.C. mudslide used last moments to save his mother, sister says

Brett Diederichs’s closing phrases had been spoken in the way his sister says he spoke all through his whole lifestyles: to help someone else.

Diederichs, 36, was standing on the primary highway outside of Lillooet, B.C., along with his mom when he realized a mudslide used to be charging down the hill above them. In an instant, he shouted at his mother.

“They heard a very severe, loud rumble. the bottom shook. The last item my mom remembers is my brother screaming, ‘Mom, come again on your car.’ Which she did, just within the nick of time,” Kirsten Diederichs, Brett’s older sister, stated in an interview Wednesday. 

“My brother simply couldn’t make it back. He used to be in an instant lost.”

The Diederichs family has recognized Brett, a trained paramedic and neatly-known figure in Toronto’s restaurant scene, as the fifth individual believed to have been killed by way of a landslide Nov. 15 in an area of B.C.’s Highway NINETY NINE known because the Duffey Lake Road.

The hillside slipped away during certainly one of the worst rainstorms the province has observed in a long time, sending a rush of mud and debris instantly into the automobiles and people on the street beneath.

WATCH | Brett Diederichs was killed in a mudslide close to Lillooet, B.C.:

'Selfless' man killed in B.C. mudslide used last moments to save his mother, sister says

Misplaced within the floods: Brett Diederichs

6 hours ago


Five folks have been confirmed killed in mudslides in B.C., including Brett Diederichs, 36, whose sister recounts the horrifying moments sooner than he used to be swept away. 2:03

Via a miracle, Kirsten stated, Brett’s mother and spouse weren’t physically hurt.

Couple was on their method to a brand new house, circle of relatives says

Brett and his longtime spouse, Madison Van Rijn, were on the highway last weekend as a result of they were moving from Peachland, B.C., to Victoria.

They’d been dwelling with Brett’s mom, Brenda, within the Okanagan town when you consider that 2020, after Brett misplaced his restaurant activity during the pandemic. Brett spent his ultimate summer in B.C. operating at the front strains as a paramedic in the course of the province’s brutal wildfire season.

He and Van Rijn made plans to move to the island for a contemporary start with a more temperate climate, quick get admission to to the sea and a vibrant culinary scene.

'Selfless' man killed in B.C. mudslide used last moments to save his mother, sister says

Brett Diederichs and his partner, Madison Van Rijn, in an undated photo. (Submitted by way of Kirsten Diederichs)

The timing seemed ideal — his mom’s home in Peachland had bought with a closing date of Sunday, Nov. 14, and the brand new position in Victoria used to be available the next day. 

Brett and Van Rijn left the interior for the coast with Brenda following in her own SUV.

The worst of the hurricane hit that Sunday. Through late afternoon, mudslides and washouts had knocked out two of the three prime highways they needed to take.

The circle of relatives holed up for the night in Kamloops and, on Monday, they headed for his or her remaining possibility: Highway 99.

“They had been worried to just get at the highway and get to their new home,” mentioned Kirsten. 

'Selfless' man killed in B.C. mudslide used last moments to save his mother, sister says

Fallen trees and particles on Freeway 99 are pictured on Nov. 15 after a flood swept through the house close to Lillooet, B.C. 4 our bodies were recovered from the debris and the quest has been referred to as off for a 5th particular person still missing, RCMP mentioned. (B.C. Ministry of Transportation/Reuters)

Visitors came to a stop sooner than a small landslide that had already come down, simply out of doors of Lillooet.

“My brother were given out of the auto to go and notice if he could lend a hand, or if somebody needed help, and my mom determined to simply soar out and take her canine for a walk,” said Kirsten.

The fatal mudslide came down moments later. Brett disappeared.

4 our bodies have been recovered from the particles. RCMP haven’t showed Diederichs as the fifth person still missing, however showed the search for the remaining frame has been suspended.

To Find all of our protection of B.C.’s devastating floods and landslides right here
Folks of two-yr-vintage daughter, rugby participant amongst those killed in B.C. mudslides

‘He took care of everyone’

Kirsten said she and Brett have been each born in New Westminster, B.C., and spent their early years in the city ahead of the family moved to Toronto after they have been ELEVEN and nine. 

In his 20s, Brett started working in restaurants across town and briefly rose in the course of the ranks and into senior control.

“He instantly made a name for himself,” Kirsten said.

“He was simply a really sweet, loving human. He used to be such an emotionally smart, kind, generous individual. He had so many loving, pricey buddies for that very reason why.”

'Selfless' man killed in B.C. mudslide used last moments to save his mother, sister says

Brett Diederichs pictured together with his mother, Brenda Diederichs, and his partner, Madison Van Rijn in an undated photo. Brenda and Van Rijn survived the mudslide. (Submitted through Kirsten Diederichs)

His closing words to his mom summed up who he was once as an individual, Kirsten stated.

“He most likely saved her existence by screaming at her to get back in the car,” she mentioned. 

“That Is what he did for everyone. Did Not subject if it was listening or cooking or bodily being out in the forest fires as a paramedic, it’s what he all the time did — assist everyone else.

“He took care of everybody, together with me.”


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