Apr 06 2016
The RCMP has confirmed that a police officer with West Shore RCMP was killed in a crash Tuesday morning in Langford on Vancouver Island.
Federal public safety minister Ralph Goodale relayed his condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of RCMP Const. Sarah Beckett.
"The death of a police officer is a stark reminder of the sacrifices and bravery of our police women and men who put themselves in harm's way each and every day to keep our communities safe," Goodale said in a statement Tuesday.
In the statement, RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson extended the department's full support to Beckett's family and to personnel of the force as they grieve the loss of their colleague.
B.C. Solicitor General Mike Morris announced in the Legislature that a female member of the RCMP had been killed.
"The member was on duty at a traffic stop and was unfortunately struck and killed on duty," he said. "She's a mother of two young children and my condolences go out to her, her family, her workmates in the RCMP and the police in general."
The Times Colonist reports Beckett, an 11-year member of the force, had recently returned to work after being off on maternity leave.
The crash happened at around 3:30 a.m between a police cruiser and a pickup truck. B.C. Ambulance said two people were transported to hospital in serious condition after the crash. The pickup driver was taken into custody early Tuesday but released Wednesday morning without charges.
RCMP Cpl. Janelle Shoihet says a criminal investigation is active and ongoing.
Shoihet said in a statement that investigators and analysts have completed their scene examination and are continuing to gather evidence.
She says investigators will take the time necessary to gather all information and evidence and consult with Crown counsel with respect to applicable charges.
"Right now, Sarah's RCMP family of police officers and employees are beginning to realize the impact of Sarah's loss," Chief Supt. Ray Bernoties, district commander for the RCMP on Vancouver Island, told a news conference. "There are tough days ahead."
Bernoties said Beckett was pronounced dead just after 4 a.m.
Media photos taken at the site show a pickup truck and a badly damaged RCMP cruiser.
Bernoties said Beckett was working on general duty in a marked police car that was travelling on Goldstream Avenue when the collision happened.
Esquimalt-Royal Roads MLA Maurine Karagianis, her voice breaking with emotion, also expressed her condolences in the Legislature on behalf of the NDP.
"Our thoughts are with her family and with the other officers at the scene and the detachment during this very difficult time," she said. "I think we all know and appreciate the dangerous nature of this work and the dedication and courage of the men and women who provide protective services in our communities."
Meanwhile, police departments across B.C. took to social media to offer messages of support to friends and family of the officer. Vancouver police chief police Adam Palmer wrote on Twitter that the VPD offers its "deepest condolences" to its brothers and sisters at the West Shore RCMP detachment.
Saanich police tweeted: "Our thoughts and prayers go out to @WestshoreRCMP. Thank you 4 serving your community so well ... Especially during this time."
Oak Bay police tweeted: "Our thoughts are with you and the family of the member who died today."
As well, three local car clubs have raised $9,065 in a gofundme campaign toward helping Beckett's family.
The clubs will also host a barbeque to fundraise for more donations at the Fountain Tire in Langford on April 17.
(National Post, CP)