Dec 03 2013
Toronto - Two Toronto area officers passed away in the last week from injuries sustained from accidents. York Regional Police Constable Michael Pegg passed away on Friday November 30 from a training injury while Toronto Police Constable John Zivcic died on Monday December 3 from injuries sustained in an on-duty vehicle collision.
York Regional Police Chief Eric Jolliffe said in a statement that Cst. Pegg - a 10-year veteran of the force - died early Friday morning.
Pegg had been assigned to the Air Support Unit as a Tactical Flight Officer since June 2008, and suffered a broken leg during annual requalification training on Nov. 12 in their Vaughan training facility. He underwent surgery on Nov. 15 and never left the hospital afterward, according to a press release.
“It came as a shock,” said Const. Laura Nicolle, who said he was well known throughout the force.
“All of our officers are grieving and saddened by this sudden loss. I don’t know what part of (the requalification exercise) specifically resulted in the injury, but we all run through the exact same training year after year,” she said.
More than a hundred Facebook messages were left under his picture on the York Regional Police Facebook page. Flags across York Regional Police facilities have been lowered to half-staff.
York Regional Police have asked the media to respect the privacy of the family while they deal with his unexpected death.
The exact cause of death has not yet been determined.
Toronto Police Cst. John Zivcic, 34, was responding to a call about an impaired driver when he collided with another car Saturday afternoon. His cruiser then crashed into a tree, ejecting him from the vehicle.
The officer succumbed to his injuries at St. Michael’s hospital on Tuesday afternoon.
Deputy Chief Peter Sloly said that Zivcic was surrounded by members of his family when he died.
A memorial service will be held on Monday, Dec. 9, In the north building of the Toronto Congress Centre at 650 Dixon Rd. It is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m.
There will also be a procession in advance of the service.
Officers from Toronto and Hamilton held vigils at the hospital sunday. Since his death, city officials and members of various police forces and the public have been offering praise and their condolences.
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford also expressed his sympathies.
“He worked very hard and that’s why we have to support front-line police men and women. They sacrifice their life day in and day out, and it’s a very sad day today," said Ford.
On monday night, people who didn't know Zivcic personally, including Julia Ricci, began leaving cards, flowers and candles at the site of the crash, creating a makeshift memorial.
“I respect what they do in their job, so I just wanted to come out and show my respect and give my condolences,” Ricci said.
In Zivcic’s hometown of St. Catharines, Kevin Mckenna looked through childhood photos of his son and Zivcic, who grew up across the street.
“He just seemed to enjoy growing up and enjoyed having fun. He was a really nice kid,” said Mckenna, who also coached Zivcic in high school basketball.
Zivcic has been described as a “greatly respected guy," especially at Toronto's 22 Division.
"It’s a terrible day for the Toronto Police service," said Toronto Police Association president Mike Mccormack.
"Our hearts are broken for John’s family."
The officer is survived by his mother, and his brother and sister and their spouses.
Hours after Zivcic died, a news release said his organs will be donated.