York Regional Police say a 54-year-old force veteran died in a two-car collision in Uxbridge while he was off-duty.
Police say Superintendent Mark Grant, from Mount Albert, Ont., was driving a Chevrolet northbound on the York Durham Line when it was struck by a Chevrolet pick-up that had been travelling eastbound on Sandford Road.
The officer was pronounced dead on the scene, and his 54-year-old fiancé, from Newmarket, was rushed to a hospital with serious injuries but is now stable. Meanwhile, the 76-year-old driver of the pick-up truck, from Brechin, Ont., was also taken to a nearby hospital with minor injuries.
Both vehicles went off the roadway and stopped in the grassy field to the side. Durham Regional Police are still trying to determine the cause of the crash.
York Regional Police Chief Eric Jolliffe said Supt. Grant was a “true leader at York Regional Police, a consummate professional, hard-working and extremely dedicated.”
The police chief had worked with Supt. Grant for nearly 30 years, and was his direct supervisor for the last five years.
“He had a great sense of humour, a positive can-do attitude and was a much valued member of this organization ... we are shocked and saddened by these events and he will be greatly missed,” he added.
Supt. Grant was driving home from the International Association of Chiefs of Police Conference in Chicago, Illinois. He joined the police force in 1979 and served for 32 years, and worked in several units including drug and vice, communications and information services. He also received the Governor General’s Police Exemplary Service Medal in 2000, and was involved in the Cops for Cancer.
This has been a difficult year for York Regional Police, which has now lost two officers.
In June, York Regional Police Constable Garrett Styles, 32, was dragged for several metres under a van he had initially pulled over. The 15-year-old driver lost control and the van rolled over on top of the officer. The teen, who cannot be named under the Youth Justice Criminal Act, was later charged with first-degree murder.
In August, off-duty Toronto police officer Riccardo Torchia was also killed in a motorcycle crash on Highway 7.