Deputy Heller’s ‘Ultimate Sacrifice’ Remembered 21 Years Later

Deputy Heller’s ‘Ultimate Sacrifice’ Remembered 21 Years Later
Colleagues and family members of Brian K. Heller are pictured at the site of his death 21 years ago on Route 113. Photo by Charlene Sharpe

POCOMOKE – The Worcester County Sheriff’s Office recognized Deputy First Class Brian K. Heller on the 21st anniversary of his death this week.

Sheriff Matt Crisafulli, joined by Heller’s fellow law enforcement officers and members of Heller’s family, commemorated his death with a ceremony on Route 113 on June 14. Heller was killed in a single vehicle accident while responding to a call in 2000.

“Twenty-one years ago today, Brian was responding to assist a fellow deputy with a serious call and right here he lost his life,” Crisafulli said. “Brian represented what a law enforcement officer is. He was a deputy we looked up to.”

Heller, 35, died June 14, 2000 following a car accident that occurred while he was responding to a call to assist another officer. Crisafulli, who was a deputy with the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office when the accident happened, recalled Heller as a proactive, motivated officer.

“Brian never had a bad shift,” he said. “The mission was always clear to Brian — that was to keep Worcester County safe. Our office wants to ensure we keep his memory eternal.”

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Heller is survived by his mother and stepfather, Connie and Dave Widmann, as well as by two brothers, two daughters and five grandchildren.

“They never got to meet him,” Connie Widmann said.

She says its important to her that her son’s name be kept alive so his grandchildren can know who he was. Widmann said her son had wanted a job where he could help people and while he considered being a nurse, he’d gone into law enforcement.

“He just loved his job,” she said.

Crisafulli praised Heller’s commitment to his work.

“Brian led by example,” he said. “There were very few nights Brian was not out here getting dangerous narcotics and weapons off Worcester County roadways.”

While the sheriff’s office makes an effort to honor Heller on the anniversary of his death each year, last year’s event was limited due to the pandemic. This year however members of Heller’s family and his former coworkers were able to gather at the sign marking the section of Route 113 where his accident occurred.

“Brian gave the ultimate sacrifice,” Crisafulli said. “He gave his life for all of us.”

About The Author: Charlene Sharpe

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Charlene Sharpe has been with The Dispatch since 2014. A graduate of Stephen Decatur High School and the University of Richmond, she spent seven years with the Delmarva Media Group before joining the team at The Dispatch.