York Regional Police officer killed in head-on crash in Markham

·2 min read
Const. Travis Gillespie, 38, was killed in a head-on crash in Markham on Wednesday morning, police say. (York Regional Police - image credit)
Const. Travis Gillespie, 38, was killed in a head-on crash in Markham on Wednesday morning, police say. (York Regional Police - image credit)

A police officer was killed in a head-on crash on his way to work in Markham Wednesday morning, York Regional Police say.

The incident happened in the area of Major Mackenzie Drive East and Warden Avenue around 6 a.m. Police say a Porsche Cayenne SUV and a white Honda Accord collided.

In a news release issued Wednesday morning, investigators said the driver of the Honda, 38-year-old Const. Travis Gillespie, was pronounced dead at the scene.

"This is devastating news for all members of our organization," Chief Jim MacSween said in a statement. "I offer my deepest condolences to Travis' family, friends and colleagues. It's never easy to lose a member and to have lost Travis so unexpectedly is very difficult."

The news release also says that Peel police's major collision unit will be conducting the investigation into the crash, as to ensure York officers are "not further traumatized by this incident."

Mehrdad Nazarahari/CBC
Mehrdad Nazarahari/CBC

Police say the driver of the Porsche, a 23-year-old man from Markham, was taken to hospital. His condition was not specified.

York police say Gillespie was sworn in as an officer in 2020, and is survived by his parents, loved ones and colleagues.

Prior to becoming a police officer, the news release reads, Gillespie worked as a special constable with Metrolinx, and volunteered with Primal Mixed Martial Arts academy.

Roads in the area are closed while an investigation is being conducted. Police are advising drivers to avoid the area and consider using an alternate route.

Investigators are asking anyone with information or video footage of the incident to contact police or Crime Stoppers.

Gillespie is the second Greater Toronto Area police officer to die this week. Toronto police Const. Andrew Hong was fatally shot in Mississauga on Monday.

Toronto police issued a statement on Twitter on Wednesday offering condolences for Gillespie's death.

"It has been a devastating week for our policing family," the statement reads. "We mourn alongside our friends and colleagues for our brave officers, both taken far too soon."

Premier Doug Ford echoed that sentiment on Twitter, saying he is "gutted by the news of the tragic death of another police officer in our province."