Article in The Aegis

The following article appeared in The Aegis newspaper on Wednesday, June 11, 2008.  Reprinted here with permission.


Denise Wilson has heard many quotes and messages about her son, Brian, in
the past few days. One sticks out.

At Havre de Grace High School, her son could walk into the cafeteria and
find a seat without a problem.

"Brian could sit at any table and fit in anywhere," Denise Wilson said.

Two weeks after Brian Wilson graduated high school with honors, the Havre de Grace community is mourning his loss this week after he died over the weekend on his way home from senior week in Ocean City.

Brian was a passenger in a Mazda driven by Nathan Flanery, 18, also of Havre de Grace, that was hit by an alleged drunk driver in Delaware. He was 17.

Bobby Wloczewski was one of many Havre de Grace High School seniors down in Ocean City for the week. He was also one of the first people on the scene of the accident that claimed the life of his good friend.

"We were there as soon as it happened," he said Tuesday. Wloczewski said he and two other students helped put a neck brace on Flanery and help him onto a stretcher. He saw someone giving CPR to Brian.

Brian was transported to Kent General Hospital and then transferred to Christiana Hospital, according to Sgt. Joshua A. Bushweller, a spokesman for the Delaware State Police. Flanery was flown to Christiana for non-life threatening injuries, according to police.

Wloczewski said at least about 40 people, which included friends, teachers and families, gathered at the hospital. They knew Brian was in critical condition.

At about 1 or 2 a.m. on Sunday, they learned Brian had passed away, he said.

Family and friends remember Brian as a young man who made people laugh and was involved in the jazz band, the National Honor Society and athletics, among many other activities, according to his mother.

Denise Wilson said Brian had been playing the trumpet since elementary school and was especially close with his older brother, Daniel, 21. In addition to his parents, William "Bill" and Denise Wilson and older brother Daniel, Brian is also survived by two other siblings, Zachary, 9, and Christina, 6.

"Brian is an all-around active guy," his mother said, adding he was not only in the honor society but also received several awards, including sportsmanship awards.
She said Brian had received a half-scholarship to Lebanon Valley College, where he was going to study medical technology. He wanted to work in a hospital lab. He also wanted to continue with jazz band and soccer at college.

Havre de Grace¹s band director, Richard Hauf, knew Brian extremely well from his time spent in the music department.

"He [Brian] was extremely talented, but he worked really hard, set high goals, expected a lot," Hauf said. "What made him unique was that he worked hard and was committed, but he made it fun. As a a teacher, I appreciated that."

After playing three years in the school¹s pit orchestra for musicals, Brian took a different approach this past year and tried out for a part in the school¹s production of "The Music Man." Dave Tramontana, the school¹s choral director who directed Wilson in "The Music Man," said Brian earned a lead in the show as part of a singing quartet.

"At the same time [as the musical], he was in swimming season, but he found a way to remain dedicated to both. He didn¹t let anything slip," Tramontana said.

A funeral service for Brian will be Friday at 10 a.m. in the high school auditorium.

Delaware man to be charged

State troopers responded to the accident on Route 1 in the area of exit 95 at 7:06 p.m. Saturday. Melissa Winn, 31, of Bear, Del., was driving a 1992 Chevy Caprice station wagon north when the hood came off, according to Delaware State Police.

She pulled into the center median and tried to retrieve the hood from the road. As she was standing to the side waiting to do so, a 1997 Mazda driven by Flanery, 18, approached the hood and slowed down.

His car was then rear-ended by a 2003 Mercedes C-24, which was driven by Andrew Rankin, 28, of New Castle, Del.

Rankin was transported to Kent General Hospital for non-life threatening injuries. State police have issued a warrant for Rankin¹s arrest, charging him with vehicular homicide, two counts of vehicular second-degree assault and driving under the influence, according to police.

Bushweller, the Delaware State Police spokesman, said Rankin was convicted of a DUI in 2005.

Bushweller said Tuesday Rankin remained in the hospital and will be charged upon his release.

A passenger in Rankin¹s Mercedes, Paul Romenicki, 27, of Middletown, Del., was taken to Kent General Hospital in critical condition. His condition was not available Tuesday.