WCIA Intern Dies in Car Crash

By Kevin Eck 

Brett Lerner, a WCIA intern and student at the University of Illinois, died in a car crash Friday night in Fisher, Ill., about 20 miles North of Champaign.

The News-Gazette reports Lerner was on Route 47 around 6 p.m. Friday when he drove into oncoming traffic and hit another car driven by a couple in their 70s. Lerner was pronounced dead at the scene.

“PERSONAL NOTE: Brett was a member of the WCIA 3 family,” WCIA wrote on its facebook page along with a description of the accident. “He interned in our sports department last summer, and he stayed on this fall to help with our Friday night high school football coverage. Brett was a very bright young man, who had an amazing future ahead of him in the sports broadcasting business. He will be missed.”

At 2:25 p.m., Illinois public address announcer Gene Honda asked the crowd at Memorial Stadium to stand for a moment of silence in honor of Lerner. With the Illinois football team standing on its home sidelined decked out in its all-gray uniforms and the color guard standing at midfield before the National Anthem was played, silence descended upon the stadium. At the same time, a photo of Lerner on the Memorial Stadium scoreboard was shown, along with a list of organizations he belonged to.

WCIA reports all those involved in the accident were wearing their seatbelts.