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Police name suspect facing impaired-related charge in crash that killed York police officer

Click to play video: 'Memorial grows for York police officer killed in collision, impaired driving charges laid'
Memorial grows for York police officer killed in collision, impaired driving charges laid
WATCH: Memorial grows for York police officer killed in collision, impaired driving charges laid – Sep 15, 2022

Police have named a 23-year-old man who has been charged in connection with a collision in Markham that left a York Regional Police (YRP) officer dead.

The collision occurred on Wednesday in the Major Mackenzie Drive East and Warden Avenue area at around 6 a.m.

YRP said a Honda Civic and a Porsche Cayenne collided. The driver of the Honda, York police Const. Travis Gillespie, was pronounced deceased at the scene.

Read more: Man involved in collision that killed York police officer faces impaired driving charges: sources

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The driver of the Porsche was taken to hospital with minor injuries.

On Thursday, Peel Regional Police identified the man charged in connection with the collision as 23-year-old Haoju Zhou from Markham.

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Click to play video: 'Friends mourn York Regional Police officer killed in crash'
Friends mourn York Regional Police officer killed in crash

He has been charged with impaired operation causing death and dangerous operation causing death.

Police said the accused was released from hospital and appeared for a bail hearing in York Region on Wednesday.

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In a statement Wednesday, YRP said Gillespie, aged 38, was driving into work when the collision occurred.

Gillespie was sworn in as a constable with the force in April of 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.

Read more: ‘A devastating loss’: Condolences pour in for family of York Regional Police officer killed in collision

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The force said in order to ensure members of the YRP are “not further traumatized by this incident” the Peel Regional Police’s major collision unit would be conducting the investigation into the collision.

On Thursday, YRP said books of condolences had been set up in each of the force’s five districts and at its headquarters in Aurora, Ont., for members of the public to sign.

“The books will be sent to Constable Gillespie’s family,” a news release said.

Click to play video: 'York Regional Police hold media briefing after officer killed in crash'
York Regional Police hold media briefing after officer killed in crash

Global News also learned Gillespie had been married, but was separated from his wife Katrina Gates.

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She told Global News he was an “amazing man.”

“Our paths separated a year ago, but we are still in daily contact and he spoke to me often about his hard work and training to become a part of the ERU,” she said. “This is a devastating loss for anyone who knew him. He was so proud of his career and serving his community.”

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