Steven Tourangeau was known for always having a smile on his face and excelling at every challenge life would throw at him, his cousin Dayne Tourangeau told CBC News.
"He was always super genuine and just an amazing person and everybody knew him as that," said Dayne. "He was always accomplishing something and our entire family is so proud of him."
Det. Const. Tourangeau, 35, of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) died on Monday when his unmarked cruiser collided with a Langs Bus Line bus at the intersection of Highway 59 and Oxford County Road 33 in East Zorra-Tavistock Township shortly before 7 a.m.
The crash killed both Tourangeau and David Stewart, 71, who was driving the school bus. Tourangeau was with the OPP's Huron-Perth Community Street Crime Unit.
Tourangeau grew up in Tecumseh, Ont., near Windsor and was currently living two hours away in St. Thomas with his wife Danikah, and their three young boys. He spent some time with Windsor Police Service's auxiliary unit, Dayne said.
'He led quite the exciting life'
Tourangeau's role as a police officer evoked lots of curiosity among his family members, his cousin said.
"Everybody knew when Steve showed up because they were always excited to hear about him and what he was up to since he led quite the exciting life. He was made to be a police officer and that's what he always wanted to do," Dayne said.
Tourangeau enjoyed fishing and spending time with his family during their annual visits to McQuaby Lake in northern Ontario. Dayne's fondest memories of Tourangeau include his love for playing hockey.
"He was the hockey player and really good at it, that's what we were first proud of him for and we would brag about him for that," Dayne said.
Tourangeau was a very popular officer in the Huron-Perth county area and his death is a huge loss to the community, said West Perth's fire chief, Bill Hunter.
"Steve had a fantastic reputation with our fire service doing workshops, he was just a quality and professional police officer," Hunter said.
Tourangeau is the fifth Ontario police officer to die in the line of duty this year. To honour the lives of fallen officers, the West Perth Fire Department has changed the colour of its clock face to blue, Hunter said.
"It's just a small way that we can recognize a fallen police officer like Steve and show respect to his family and the OPP community," he said
"I'm pretty broken up about [his death], as is everybody in our family. He was really important to us and we're just trying to work our way through it," Dayne said.
The family will get together for a celebration of Tourangeau's life, he said. An online fundraiser has been set up to support his wife and children.
"I just want people to know how genuine of a person he was and his family meant everything to him," Dayne said. "He was just a great person and a great police officer."
The investigation into the crash is ongoing.