The driver involved in a fatal collision that killed a 38-year-old York Regional Police officer on his way to work on Wednesday morning is facing charges in relation to impaired driving, sources tell Global News.
The fatal head-on, two-vehicle collision took place in the area of Major Mackenzie Drive East and Warden Avenue at around 6 a.m.
When officers arrived, they learned one driver had been killed, police said.
Police initially did not release details about the victim or anyone else who was injured in the crash, but Global News learned that the individual killed was a York Regional Police officer who was driving into work.
In a statement issued later Wednesday morning, police confirmed that 38-year-old Const. Travis Gillespie died at the scene of the crash.
The statement said Gillespie was driving a white Honda and was involved in a collision with a Porsche Cayenne.
The driver of the Porsche, a 23-year-old Markham man, was taken to hospital. Const. Maniva Armstrong said he suffered minor injuries. Global News has learned he is expected to appear in court later this week.
Gillespie was sworn in as a constable on April 29, 2020. Before joining York Regional Police, he worked as a constable for Metrolinx/GO Transit and volunteered with the Community Living and Primal MMA Academy, the police statement said.
“He is survived by his parents, loved ones and colleagues,” police said.
“In order to ensure members of York Regional Police are not further traumatized by this incident, the Peel Regional Police Major Collision Unit will be conducting the investigation into this collision.”
York Regional Police Chief Jim MacSween said the incident is “devastating news for all members of our organization.”
“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,” MacSween said.
York police said they will be working with the York Regional Police Association to offer support to Gillespie’s family. Support is also being offered to members of the York Regional Police.
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Investigators are asking any witnesses of the crash to come forward.
Police haven’t publicly said what may have caused the crash.
Armstrong said there were several witnesses who have assisted with the investigation so far.
It is the second time this week a Toronto-area police officer has died.
On Monday, Toronto police Const. Andrew Hong was shot and killed in Mississauga.
The Toronto Police Service issued a statement following Gillespie’s death.
“We extend our deepest sympathies to York Regional Police on the loss of police constable Travis Gillespie,” it said.
“It has been a devastating week for our policing family. We mourn alongside our friends and colleagues for our brave officers, both taken far too soon.”
Premier Doug Ford also posted a message on Twitter.
“I’m gutted by the news of the tragic death of another police officer in our province,” he said.
“My thoughts are with the loved ones of Constable Travis Gillespie and the entire @YRP family as they mourn the loss of their beloved colleague.”
— With files Catherine McDonald