A Beeton, Ont., man, who is the son-in-law of a York Regional Police member, has been identified as the victim of a fatal head-on crash involving a suspected impaired driver north of Toronto on Monday.
Ontario Provincial Police said 28-year-old Stuart Ellis was travelling southbound on Highway 48 around 5:50 a.m. just south of Davis Drive near East Gwillimbury when a northbound vehicle veered into the centre lane and collided with his car.
Police said Ellis was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the other vehicle, identified as 20-year-old Tyler Neilsen of Newmarket, was taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries.
Authorities said Neilsen was arrested and charged with impaired driving causing death, take vehicle without consent and drive disqualified.
Ellis’ wife, Justine Ellis, posted a note on social media on Monday expressing her devastation over her husband’s death and whose one-year-old son will now grow up without a father.
“This morning my world as I knew it was shattered,” Ellis wrote. “The love of my life, best friend and the best daddy in the world was tragically taken from us. My heart is in a million pieces.”
York Regional Police Deputy Chief Tom Carrique told Global News at their annual Festive RIDE kick-off event in Markham that the Ellis’ were expecting another child.
“He was expecting another child and that the family has asked for some privacy right now,” Carrique said. “We’re doing our best to respect that. Right now we’re focused on supporting the family as best we can.”
Carrique said this latest death involving a suspected drunk driver is yet another reminder of how impaired driving can ruin lives.
“It’s still under investigation by the Ontario Provincial Police but at this point, it is a suspected impaired driver and it’s an opportunity for us to remember the victims of impaired driving today and to take a stand and not let this happen another time,” Carrique said.
Meanwhile, Ellis said she is thankful for the support she has received from family and friends but admits the loss of her husband will be hard to overcome.
“Thank you to my family and friends who without a second thought, dropped everything they were doing and rushed to be by my side,” Ellis wrote.
“I don’t know how to live this life without him by my side, we were supposed to grow old together. As soon as there are any plans in place, we will let everyone know. Thank you for all your love and prayers.”
A GoFundMe page has been set up for the Ellis family to support Justine.
Police said the investigation into the fatal head-on crash is still ongoing and any witnesses to the incident are urged to come forward.
–With a file from Catherine McDonald