A 42-year-old married father of four has been identified as the RCMP officer who died near the Canada-U.S. border Monday evening.
Const. Richer Dubuc was killed after the marked car he was driving collided with a tractor on a rural highway in Saint-Bernard-de-Lacolle, Que.
"The great RCMP family is deeply saddened by the tragic death of our colleague," the Mounties said in a statement.
"We offer our deepest and most heartfelt condolences to the family, colleagues and friends of Richer."
The native of Joliette, Que., had been an RCMP officer for the past seven years, most recently working as a member of the border enforcement unit based in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu. He joined that unit in January 2017.
Supt. Paul Beauchesne, the officer who oversees the Codiac detachment where Dubuc began working upon graduating from the RCMP training academy, said his former colleague had achieved a lifelong ambition.
"Richer was known as a man of 'large stature' with a personality that matched," Beauchesne said in a statement.
"His co-workers called him 'the gentle giant' because he was very tall and always in good spirits."
The collision occurred around 6:20 p.m. ET on Route 202 westbound, about 10 kilometres from the border, according to provincial police Sgt. Claude Denis.
'Terrible tragedy,' Goodale says
Dubuc was taken to hospital in critical condition. His death was confirmed Tuesday morning.
The tractor driver was also taken to hospital with minor injuries.
The officer was driving a marked car. The type of call he was responding to is unclear.
Route 202 connects to Roxham Road. RCMP recently stepped up patrols at the Roxham Road boundary in Saint-Bernard-de-Lacolle, where an increasing number of asylum seekers are crossing into Canada from the U.S.
The provincial police's major crime unit is investigating the crash.
Speaking in Montreal on Tuesday, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale, who oversees the RCMP, called the death a "terrible tragedy."