Knoxville Fire Department Captain DJ Corcoran was in Memphis when his son, Pierce Corcoran, was killed in a crash on Chapman Highway.
The Knoxville Firefighters Association jumped into action to help.
They coordinated transportation with the Memphis firefighters to get him to Nashville, and with the help of Nashville firefighters, a Knoxville unit picked him up near Cookeville and got him home.
Tuesday from 5:00 p.m.- 8:00 p.m., the Corcoran family invited friends to say goodbye to 22-year-old Pierce Corcoran.
Corcoran’s funeral service followed at Central Baptist Church of Fountain City.
Pierce’s obituary says he was “a brilliant young man full of more faith, perseverance and more love than is seen in men twice his age. In his 22 years, he tried his hand at every sport possible, developing a love of golf, soccer, tennis and running 2 marathons in 2017.”
It also says Corcoran was in working toward his personal trainer certification. Corcoran worked for FedEx Express for five years and graduated from Grace Christian Academy in 2015.
Family and friends will meet at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday at Stevens Mortuary to go in procession to Greenwood Cemetery for a 3:00 p.m. graveside service and interment.
Mark Wilbanks, Assistant Knoxville Fire Department Chief, has worked alongside Corcoran for nearly 20 years. He’s currently taking on his role as department spokesperson and also relaying a message close to Corcoran’s heart: Drive carefully.
“Slow down, don’t drink and drive, don’t text and drive and put on a seatbelt,” Wilbanks said.
“He wants people to slow down on Chapman Highway, to practice good driving going into a new year. This is an extremely dangerous stretch of road,” he said. “That’s what DJ wants to focus on, making this a safer highway.”
Wilbanks also acknowledges the grief fellow firefighters and first responders must be feeling, going to the scene of one of their own’s family.
“I can’t imagine what those guys feel. It’s got to be extremely hard for them,” he added.
Wilbanks said Corcoran is one of the most “easy-going, happy-go-lucky people you’ll ever meet.”
He says he often speaks of his family, his children and how proud he is.
“He is our face and it’s going to be difficult. We’re going to be without DJ for a while,” he added.