Memorial Service for Coast Guardsman Saturday

SEATTLE – The Coast Guard will honor the passing of Vancouver, Wa., resident, Petty Officer First Class Brian Bernier, Dec. 29 during a memorial service at Sector Seattle Saturday at 11 a.m.

Petty Officer Bernier was traveling the I-84 highway near Warrendale, Ore., with his family the evening of Dec. 29 when he stopped to help the driver of a vehicle that had crashed in the fast lane of a blind, left-hand curve. While in the process of aiding the driver, an oncoming car nearly hit Petty Officer Bernier and other motorists who had stopped to help. Petty Officer Bernier is reported to have shouted a warning before diving to avoid the oncoming car. Leaping to avoid the vehicle resulted in Petty Officer Bernier going over the railing of the highway and falling approximately 54 feet. Bernier was pronounced dead after Oregon State Police and an Emergency Response Team tried for 30 minutes to resuscitate him.

Petty Officer Bernier served in the Coast Guard Reserves for 16 years, and was named Coast Guard Station Seattle’s Reserve Petty Officer of the Year for 2005. He leaves behind a wife and two children. Petty Officer Bernier was also an employee of the United States Postal Service.

For his heroic actions on Dec. 29, Petty Officer Bernier was posthumously awarded the Coast Guard Meritorious Public Service Award. In addition, he was appointed as an honorary Chief Petty Officer in the Coast Guard by Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard Skip Bowen, and was awarded the Coast Guard Achievement Medal for his service at Station Seattle.

Following the memorial service, the Coast Guard will conduct a burial at sea for the internment of Petty Officer Bernier’s remains. A copy of the Oregon State Police press release involving the accident can be found here.

Source: USCG D13 Public Affairs – VIA CGInformation

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