Brickell a young man of character
GSPI Managing Editor
GLENWOOD SPRINGS – Cody Brickell was a hard-working, gutsy kid, a generous friend, a strong leader and a passionate athlete. He is gone before his time.
After spending Saturday afternoon at Sunlight Mountain Resort, dancing and laughing with friends at the KMTS “Bikes to Mics” Country Showdown concert, Cody, 18, died in a fiery one-car crash on Four Mile Road, just a mile from the ski area.
He was a 2003 graduate of Glenwood Springs High School, the 2002-03 student body president, Key Club member and captain of the football team, and was headed to St. John’s University in Collegeville, Minn., in less than a month to wrestle and study medicine.
“If anybody needed help, Cody would be there. You could always count on Cody,” said his close friend Chris Rey, a fellow 2003 GSHS grad.
“He would light up a room with a smile, and he let people know he cared about them without using words,” said Lacey Darien, a 2002 GSHS graduate.
“You couldn’t hold him back,” added another close friend and classmate, Ryan Bolitho.
“You look at every kid, and there is so much potential in them,” said Mike Wilde, a GSHS biology teacher and baseball coach. “Cody certainly had a bunch. He was a leader, very personable, he had the tools to go out and make a difference, to do amazing things. And you could say that about him as a high school senior.”
“He was very much a leader,” said Sonya Hemmen, GSHS assistant principal. “He had a great sense of humor, and he was always available to kids who needed help. He was kind of a `jump in and help’ guy.”
“After my son went off to college, Cody became my go-to guy at the high school,” said Steve Cable, GSHS athletic director and lifelong family friend.
“He was living the right life, a kid of right character. But then, he came from a family of character. You couldn’t ask for a better kid,” Cable said. “This is such a tough, tough loss.”
By 10 p.m. Saturday, word of Cody’s accident spread through Glenwood Springs. His closest friends, those who saw the accident, went over to Cody’s West Glenwood house to be with his mother, Lynette Brickell.
Cody’s father, Guy Brickell, and his younger sisters, Cassie and Tiffany, were driving back to Glenwood from Minnesota, and arrived early Sunday morning.
Cody was looking forward to a trip, “just him and his dad,” to Cheyenne Frontier Days, Ryan Bolitho said.
He has a special relationship with his little sisters, Lacey Darien said.
“He loved his sisters and took so much pride in them,” she said. Cody attended their dance recitals, and asked his friends to come along, too.
Guy Brickell is a social studies and history teacher at GSHS, a Student Council sponsor and football coach. Lynette Brickell works for Becvarik Bros. Concrete, and Cody worked on Becvarik’s concrete crew for the past two summers. He also worked at Exclusive Athletic Club and had a lawn-mowing business with his friend Chris Toler.
He worked hard and was saving his money for college, and to buy a new truck. Cody drove an ’84 Toyota pickup. He was driving his mom’s car when the accident occurred, shortly after 8 p.m.
Later in the night Saturday, Cody’s friends went over to Lacey Darien’s house, a few blocks from the Brickell’s. The kids stayed up until about 4 a.m.
“They don’t really know what to do. They just need to be together,” said Lacey’s mother, Jamie Darien. The gathering continued Sunday. The kids were subdued, and tears came easily. But they couldn’t help but smile in telling stories about their friend.
Cody’s main sports passion was wrestling, although he also played football and competed in track. Last summer, while attending a summer wrestling camp in Gunnison, he injured his knee. It slowed him down, but his spirit was irrepressible.
He still suited up for football, but wasn’t supposed to be playing. But at the game in Steamboat Springs, he sneaked onto the field in the chaos between quarters and asked another player to go back to the bench.
“He called the play and scored a touchdown,” said Ryan Bolitho. “It was all love and passion for sports.”
Cody Brickell was a popular kid at GSHS, but he wasn’t a snob.
He volunteered for freshman orientation, Hemmen said, “to make sure they understood the ropes.”
“He always had a story to tell. If you had a problem, he had a way to relate to it and make you feel better,” said Tessie Tracy, a GSHS senior.
Cody served as emcee for the GSHS Awards Night, giving a polished and rehearsed presentation that made everyone proud. Cody also worked up a Blues Brothers routine with classmate Marco Salmen, and they performed the silly act many times.
“He’d make a fool of himself on stage with dumb skits,” Cable said.
Cody knew the value of laughter, and of public service. He served in Student Council all four years, and this spring, decided that the school needed to organize a blood drive. It was the first of its kind, Hemmen said, and a true success.
It was the kind of project that made Cody Brickell such an asset to the school, and what makes his death so tragic.
“I got lots of calls late Saturday night and early Saturday morning,” Hemmen said. “Everybody is in shock. It’s just awful. I just keep thinking about his future, and what was ahead.”
A memorial service is being planned, but the date has not yet been set.
Contact Heather McGregor: 945-8515, ext. 517
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