Clatskanie remembers small town hero

Clatskanie remembers small town hero

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by Wayne Havrelly

Bio | Email | Follow: @HavrellyKGW

kgw.com

Posted on April 21, 2012 at 6:40 PM

Updated Sunday, Apr 22 at 9:35 AM

CLATSKANIE, Ore. -- He died at 35, saving his 2-year-old son's life last weekend. Saturday, Brant Hicks' hometown paid tribute by jamming into the high school auditorium.

"He went out on his own terms, something he's been doing his whole life," said his best friend Nathan McLeod. "Protecting his family and people he loved,"

Hicks lost his life April 14, while fishing with family on his  father-in-law's commercial fishing boat.

Larry Hurula says his grandson slipped off the deck in a split second. Hicks instantly jumped  into the mighty Columbia, handing the boy to his grandfather. The boy was wearing a life jacket; his father was not.

"He ended up getting caught in fishing line and I threw out the safety ring and he just couldn't get to it," said Hurula, who was too broken up to speak at the service.

Hurula was also honored during his son-in-law's memorial.

"It took two heroic men to save the boy's life," McLeod said. "You are a true hero, Larry." Thunderous applause followed.  

Hicks was a happily married father of two boys. He loved his family and kept his friends close. He was an Oakland Raiders fan, and his friends thought he was probably getting a real kick out of looking down on so many Seahawks fans wearing black at his memorial.

Following the tragedy, Hicks' father-in-law says his grandchildren will be well cared for.

"I"m debating whether I can go back to Alaska," Hurula said. "It  will be my 40th year and I'm thinking about maybe retiring and selling out so I can stay home and raise the grand kids."

In Clatskanie heroes take care of each other, even after one of them is gone.

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