UI student, Illini Media employee dies in car crash

By The Daily Illini Staff Report

Editor’s Note: The Daily Illini plans to honor Brett Lerner in the coming days. Brett was an incredible part of our newsroom, and he will be missed greatly. We were honored to be able to work with someone who loved their craft as much as Brett did. We continue to remember and honor Brett’s impact on our newsroom. 

Newsrooms in Champaign-Urbana are in pain.

Brett Lerner, a 20-year-old journalism student at the University, died in a car crash around 7:30 p.m. Friday. Lerner was traveling on Route 47 when he collided with another vehicle. 

Lerner, originally from Buffalo Grove, joined The Daily Illini last February, and had been a staff member for The Daily Illini’s sports department in both print and on-air capacities. 

Lerner had also worked for the Big Ten Network as a play-by-play announcer, WCIA as a sports intern and the Tay & J show as an intern. Lerner was also a common voice on the airwaves as a host for WGPU and The Daily Illini’s “Illini Drive.”

A moment of silence was held today for Lerner before kick off of the Illinois Homecoming football game at Memorial Stadium. 

Twitter Tweet

Hear and read some of Lerner’s work on his staff page.

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Clarification: A previous version of this article stated that Brett Lerner was 21 years old, per the Champaign County Coroner’s original report. Lerner was actually 20 years old. The Daily Illini regrets the error.