N.S. RCMP officer killed while helping motorists ‘an amazing police officer and person’
Condolences are pouring in for a Nova Scotia RCMP officer who was killed after stopping to help some motorists change a tire on the side of a New Brunswick highway.
Const. Francis Deschenes was a 12-year veteran of the force and on duty with Amherst’s Northwest Traffic Services when the collision happened on Tuesday evening.
“This is a tragic day for the Nova Scotia RCMP and our entire RCMP family,” Nova Scotia RCMP commanding officer, assistant commissioner Brian Brennan told reporters on Wednesday.
“It is extremely challenging to describe what it feels like when we lose one of our own. In the RCMP, we are a family and every employee in Nova Scotia and across the country is impacted by the loss of Francis.”
According to the RCMP, Deschenes had stopped to help two people in an SUV change a tire when a utility van collided with his police car and the SUV.
Deschenes was pronounced dead at the scene, while the two people in the SUV were taken to hospital and released. The driver of the van was also treated in hospital but later taken into police custody.
‘An amazing police officer and person’
Deschenes was first posted to the Stewiacke and Bible Hill detachments, before joining the RCMP Musical Ride. He later returned to Nova Scotia to work in Traffic Services and was also a member of the Special Tactical Operations/Tact Troop and a traffic reconstructionist.
In June 2008, Deschenes was credited with saving a woman when he used his cruiser to push a vehicle off a railroad track near Truro, N.S. seconds before an oncoming freight train came.
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He received the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee medal in 2013, and gotten married earlier this year.
A colleague and friend of Deschenes’ tells Global News he was a dedicated and loyal RCMP member.
“I can say that he was an amazing police officer and person. He was dedicated to his job, loyal to the RCMP, and would do anything for anyone. He was truly one of the good guys,” said Blake DeCoste.
“I recently had the chance to spend two weeks working with him out of the province. He couldn’t stop talking about the two loves of his life: his wife and his dog. He frequently spoke about how happy he was and how he hated being away from them. They meant everything to him.”
Criminal investigation underway
Brennan said police are unable to provide many details about the collision because there is an active criminal investigation going on. He did confirm, however, Deschenes was working on duty as a Traffic Services member and was in a marked police cruiser.
“In the days and weeks ahead, our focus will be on the continued support for Const. Deschenes’ family, friends and colleagues,” Brennan said.
“This is going to be a tough road ahead and we have to take care of each other and ensure people are receiving the care and support they require.”
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