By Maan Alhmidi in Toronto
A York Region police officer is dead after an early morning collision Wednesday morning in Markham, Ont.
York Regional Police Chief Jim MacSween said Const. Travis Gillespie was killed in a crash on his way to work.
He said Gillespie is survived by his parents, loved ones and colleagues.
“This is devastating news for all members of our organization,” said MacSween in a statement.
“I offer my deepest condolences to Travis’ family, friends and colleagues. It’s never easy to lose a member and to have lost Travis so unexpectedly is very difficult.”
York Regional Police said officers responded to a collision involving a white Honda Accord and a Porsche Cayenne at Major Mackenzie Drive and Warden Avenue at 6 a.m.
They said Gillespie, 38, was pronounced dead at the scene.
A 23-year-old man from Markham, who was driving the other car, was taken to hospital. York Region Const. Maniva Armstrong told reporters Wednesday afternoon that the driver had minor injuries.
York Regional Police said Peel Regional Police is leading the investigation to avoid further traumatizing its members by the incident.
No charges have been laid in the ongoing investigation and several witnesses are assisting police, Armstrong said.
Gillespie was sworn in as a police constable on April 29, 2020.
Prior to joining the force, he worked as a Metrolinx and GO Transit special constable.
York Regional Police Association, the union that represents over 2,400 uniformed and civilian members of the force, said the unexpected loss of Gillespie is felt by all of its members.
“Heartfelt sympathies to Constable Travis Gillespie’s family and friends,” the association said in a tweet.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with Travis’ family, friends, and fellow (York Regional Police) members.”
The force said it will work with the police association to offer support to Gillespie’s family over the coming days, weeks and months.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford said he was sad to hear the news of Gillespie’s death.
“My thoughts are with the loved ones of Constable Travis Gillespie and the entire (York Regional Police) family as they mourn the loss of their beloved colleague,” Ford said in a tweet.
York Centre MPP Michael Kerzner said the loss of Gillespie is immeasurable.
“We mourn with those who mourn, and we pray with those who pray,” Kerzner said in a statement.
“The oath that each officer takes to serve and protect remains ingrained and indelible and a permanent remainder if a sacred duty.”
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 14, 2022.
Banner image via York Regional Police