Sat, August 28, 2004
Cruiser collision kills local
2 Gatineau officers injured
By SEAN McKIBBON and LAURA CZEKAJ, Ottawa Sun
The family of a 31-year-old Ottawa man who was killed instantly when
his car was hit head-on by a police cruiser early yesterday have
expressed concern for the well-being of the two cops involved in the
crash. "Our hopes and wishes go out to the injured officers," said the
person who answered the phone at the victim's residence yesterday
afternoon. The family declined to comment further.
Peter Robertson was on his way home after working an evening shift as a
contractor at a federal government satellite installation north of
Cantley when he came to a sharp bend on St. Louis St. As he rounded the
rain-slicked curve, Robertson's red Chevrolet Cavalier collided with a
Gatineau police cruiser that was responding to an emergency call.
'A LOUD BANG'
"I heard a loud bang," said Benoit Marchand who lives near the accident scene.
Marchand had fallen asleep watching a movie, but was awakened by the sound of the midnight crash.
"The driver of the red car was pushed into the back seat by the collision," he said.
Both vehicles ended up in the southbound lane in which Robertson had
been travelling. Marchand said it appeared the northbound police
cruiser had lost control on the wet pavement.
Witnesses said it took Gatineau firefighters a half-hour to extricate
the occupants of the cruiser, who were then transported to Gatineau
The 22-year-old male officer who was driving the cruiser suffered
numerous fractures and underwent surgery yesterday. The female officer
who was in the passenger seat, also in her early 20s, received serious
injuries. However, neither officer's injuries were considered
Sources told the Sun that both officers had been on the force for less than a year. Police would not confirm that yesterday.
PROBE UNDER WAY
Surete du Quebec are investigating the crash. It's standard procedure
for the provincial police to investigate when another police force is
involved in an incident in which someone is killed or injured.
"We will do like we do in other investigations, the only difference is
that we are investigating for another police force so we will show as
much transparency as we can," said Const. Jayson Gauthier.
He would not speculate on the cause of the crash, saying police were continuing to investigate.
Robertson's co-workers said they will wait to hear the outcome of the police investigation before casting blame.
"I don't think it's fair to point fingers at anybody, when the police haven't finished their investigation," said Helen McGraw.
She said Robertson was an upbeat man who enjoyed golfing and ski trips with his co-workers.
"We're a very tight-knit group," she said.
Robertson is predeceased by his father, Master Warrant Officer Kenneth
M. Robertson, who died in December 2001. His father was a decorated
military police officer who served on UN peacekeeping missions.
Robertson lived in Ottawa with his girlfriend and has relatives in the Maritimes.
"He was a good friend and a good guy," said Mike Anderson, another co-worker.
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