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Decorated war hero dead after head-on crash with New York City bus

A decorated war hero and National Guardsman, who survived an IED blast in Iraq nearly a decade ago, died in a Staten Island hospital on Saturday — one day after he was critically injured in a head-on collision with an MTA bus.

Marcus Brown, a 33-year-old Brooklyn native, was speeding when he lost control of his van and crashed into an S74 city bus on Staten Island, The New York Daily News reported.

Brown was pronounced dead at Staten Island University Hospital, according to a statement from the New York City Police. Two other passengers in Brown’s vehicle and the bus driver suffered only minor injuries.

Brown was an active in the National Guard at the time of his death. He joined in 2006, SILive.com reported.

Survived by his mother, Michelle Brown, Brown was remembered him as a loving friend and someone who sacrificed for his country.

“He was selfless. He just had a good heart, he really did,” Brown told the Daily News. “He didn’t have one best friend — he loved all his friends. They were all his best friends. He loved each one individually and as a group. That’s why they loved him so much.”

In August 2008, he received the Bronze Star for his actions after an IED hit his vehicle, killing his commanding officer, Capt. Andrew Pearson, and the vehicle’s driver, Spc. Ronald Tucker.  Though injured, Brown opened the rear escape hatch and tried to free Tucker, then established a security perimeter to prevent a second attack, according to military officials.

Sean Kilcullen, the owner of the Bungalow 18 bar in Great Kills, described Brown as a close friend and a generous, happy-go-lucky soul.Hundreds of people poured into Staten Island University Hospital to say their goodbyes to Brown, Kilcullen said, and his friends are trying to get a street named for him.

“Watching hundreds of people pile in, in and out, it’s amazing,” he said.

Brown was supposed to host a “USA Bingo” night to raise funds for veterans’ charities at the bar on Nov. 12, and Kilcullen said he’s now planning to hold the event annually to honor his fallen friend.

“I don’t care where I’m working, I don’t care where I’ll be, I will make sure there will be a place for him,” Kilcullen said.