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Obituary:  Company of Heroes  Designer Brian R. Wood
Obituary: Company of Heroes Designer Brian R. Wood
September 6, 2010 | By Kyle Orland

September 6, 2010 | By Kyle Orland
More: Console/PC

Brian R. Wood, 33, a lead designer on Relic Entertainment's Company of Heroes real-time strategy game series, was tragically killed in a Seattle-area car accident on Friday night.

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports that Wood was driving his Subaru Outback along the Whiteby Island area of Highway 20 when his car was struck head-on by a Chevy Blazer that swerved across the center line.

Wood reportedly died at the scene, while his pregnant wife Erin, 31, who was a passenger in the Outback, is reportedly "hospitalized but in improving condition."

Both the driver of the Blazer, Jordyn B. Weichert, and front-seat passenger Samantha R. Bowling, who was holding the steering wheel at the time of the accident, could face vehicular homicide charges when they are released from the hospital.

Two back-seat passengers in the Blazer were also reportedly killed in the crash, which is currently under investigation by the authorities.

Before coming to Relic Entertainment to work on the Company of Heroes series in 2006, Wood worked as a designer on real-time strategy games including TimeGate's Axis & Allies and Kohan II: Kings of War.

Most recently Wood had been working on Company of Heroes Online, which has just entered public beta. The designer was scheduled to speak at the upcoming GDC Online conference on adapting the Company of Heroes series to a free-to-play format.

[UPDATE: Local newspaper The Province has more details on the accident, confirming that Wood's wife and unborn child are out of danger.]

[UPDATE: Relic has set up a memorial trust to help support Wood's widow and unborn baby.]

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David Delanty
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That's terrible to hear, my feelings go out to his family, and his extended brethren at Relic.

Reminds me of a phrase my driver's ed teacher taught me. "More than 50% of the drivers in car accidents did nothing wrong." When stuff like this happens, I'm always reminded of that. If there isn't a fund or charity for his family set up, then send me a pre-order form for CoH Online.

Tawna Evans
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I hope his wife and unborn child will survive.

Tadhg Kelly
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Indeed, grim news. Condolences to his family.

Jonathan Jennings
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R.I.P Brian

lately I have been reminded just how fragile life is, and everyday it has made me appreciate and love mine a little more.

Bryan OHara
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He left behind a fitting legacy, CoH is one of my favorite series. The loss of talent that helped produced a product of that caliber is only outweighed by the loss to his family and friends. I hope his child grows up knowing just how many people enjoyed and appreciated the work of his/her father. My Condolences.

Mbuso Radebe
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My time at Relic was made all the more special because of great people like Brian Wood. My prayers are with him and his family. Rest in peace friend.

Sean Parton
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I've not played CoH myself, but I know quite a few people who are fans. Though his life was cut tragically short, he's left a legacy most of us could only hope to replicate. My condolences to Brian's family and friends.

Jessie Rolan
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For the short time that I knew him, I can attest to him being a stand-up guy who will definitely be missed. This is my first time reading the part of the story that Bill mentions, about him turning the car to save his wife, but it did not surprise me one bit.

Our thoughts are with you Erin.