Butler Co. Fatal Crash Caused By Heart Attack

By: Heather Abraham

BUTLER (KDKA) – The Butler County Coroner has determined the cause of a fatal crash Sunday afternoon was due to the driver suffering a heart attack.

Witnesses noticed 51-year-old Joseph Brewer driving erratically, even convulsing prior to the accident.

He drove across two lanes of traffic on New Castle Road in Butler  and through a parking lot before his truck smashed into a PNC Bank.

On Monday, friends reminisced about what a great man Brewer was.

He volunteered his time for almost two decades, driving the fire engines and ambulances at the Petrolia Volunteer Fire Department.

“One of the fireman called to tell me and I just couldn’t believe it. I was in shock,” Larry Gifford said.

“He was one of those people, no matter how little they had, if you needed something, he was going to give it to you. He would give you the shirt off his back, even if it was his last shirt,” Commander Leslie Larimore said.

Larimore said every Friday night, Brewer dedicated his time to call Bingo.

He spent nearly 15 years with the fire department and was always there when you needed him.

“We went on an ambulance call one time and he couldn’t get his car started and he ran a quarter of a mile to get onto the ambulance,” Larimore said.

Brewer leaves behind his wife and four children.

According to Larimer, Brewer had asked his wife to renew their vows around Valentine’s Day. That ceremony was scheduled to happen in May.


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  • Dave

    So sad. My condolences to his family/friends. Sounds like a genuinely nice guy.

  • Andrew Hill

    Deep condolences to the family and to the Petrolia VFD for the lost of a great member and great friend. Did not know Joe all to well but the few calls i ran with him and the brief conversations we had, Joe seemed like a motivated and dedicated person to his family and to Petrolia VFD. He will greatly be missed.

  • Leah

    Thanks you for your condolences to our family they are very much welcomed and appriciated. My Aunt not only lost her garage last week with her husbands most prized posession but she now lost him. But thank you so very much for your condolences

  • pittgirl

    Sounds like he was a really nice man, rest in piece..

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