‘Selfless’ man killed in B.C. mudslide used final moments to save lots of his mom, sister says- Shekhawati Rides


Brett Diederichs’s remaining phrases had been spoken in one of the best ways his sister says he spoke all via his full life: to help one other particular person.

Diederichs, 36, was standing on the precept freeway exterior of Lillooet, B.C., collectively together with his mother when he realized a mudslide was charging down the hill above them. Immediately, he shouted at his mother.

“They heard a extraordinarily intense, loud rumble. The underside shook. The very final thing my mom remembers is my brother screaming, ‘Mom, get once more in your automotive.’ Which she did, merely throughout the nick of time,” Kirsten Diederichs, Brett’s older sister, said in an interview Wednesday. 

“My brother merely couldn’t make it once more. He was immediately misplaced.”

The Diederichs family has acknowledged Brett, a well informed paramedic and well-known decide in Toronto’s restaurant scene, as a result of the fifth explicit particular person believed to have been killed by a landslide Nov. 15 in an area of B.C.’s Freeway 99 known as the Duffey Lake Freeway.

The hillside slipped away all through certainly one of many worst rainstorms the province has seen in a very long time, sending a rush of mud and particles straight into the cars and folk on the road beneath.

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

Misplaced throughout the floods: Brett Diederichs

5 people have been confirmed killed in mudslides in B.C., along with Brett Diederichs, 36, whose sister recounts the horrifying moments sooner than he was swept away. 2:03

By a miracle, Kirsten said, Brett’s mother and confederate weren’t bodily harm.

Couple was on their strategy to a model new home, family says

Brett and his longtime confederate, Madison Van Rijn, had been on the road remaining weekend because of that they had been shifting from Peachland, B.C., to Victoria.

They’d been dwelling with Brett’s mother, Brenda, throughout the Okanagan metropolis since 2020, after Brett misplaced his restaurant job via the pandemic. Brett spent his remaining summer season season in B.C. working on the doorway traces as a paramedic via the province’s brutal wildfire season.

He and Van Rijn made plans to maneuver to the island for a recent start with a further temperate native climate, speedy entry to the ocean and a vibrant culinary scene.

Brett Diederichs and his confederate, Madison Van Rijn, in an undated image. (Submitted by Kirsten Diederichs)

The timing appeared perfect — his mother’s home in Peachland had purchased with a deadline of Sunday, Nov. 14, and the model new place in Victoria was on the market the subsequent day. 

Brett and Van Rijn left the Inside for the coast with Brenda following in her private SUV.

The worst of the storm hit that Sunday. By late afternoon, mudslides and washouts had knocked out two of the three major highways they wished to take.

The family holed up for the night time time in Kamloops and, on Monday, they headed for his or her remaining selection: Freeway 99.

“They’d been anxious to solely get on the road and get to their new home,” said Kirsten. 

Fallen timber and particles on Freeway 99 are pictured on Nov. 15 after a flood swept by way of the realm near Lillooet, B.C. 4 our our bodies have been recovered from the particles and the search has been known as off for a fifth explicit particular person nonetheless missing, RCMP said. (B.C. Ministry of Transportation/Reuters)

Guests acquired right here to a stop ahead of a small landslide that had already come down, merely exterior of Lillooet.

“My brother obtained out of the automotive to go and see if he could help, or if anyone wished help, and my mom decided to solely leap out and take her canine for a stroll,” said Kirsten.

The deadly mudslide acquired right here down moments later. Brett disappeared.

4 our our bodies have been recovered from the particles. RCMP haven’t confirmed Diederichs as a result of the fifth explicit particular person nonetheless missing, nevertheless confirmed the search for the ultimate physique has been suspended.

‘He took care of everyone’

Kirsten said she and Brett had been every born in New Westminster, B.C., and spent their early years throughout the metropolis sooner than the family moved to Toronto as soon as that they had been 11 and 9. 

In his 20s, Brett started working in consuming locations all through city and quickly rose by way of the ranks and into senior administration.

“He immediately made a status for himself,” Kirsten said.

“He was solely a truly sweet, loving human. He was such an emotionally intelligent, kind, generous explicit particular person. He had so many loving, dear friends for that very trigger.”

Brett Diederichs pictured collectively together with his mother, Brenda Diederichs, and his confederate, Madison Van Rijn in an undated image. Brenda and Van Rijn survived the mudslide. (Submitted by Kirsten Diederichs)

His remaining phrases to his mother summed up who he was as a person, Kirsten said.

“He seemingly saved her life by screaming at her to get once more throughout the automotive,” she said. 

“That’s what he did for everyone. Didn’t matter if it was listening or cooking or bodily being out throughout the forest fires as a paramedic, it’s what he always did — help all individuals else.

“He took care of everyone, along with me.”

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