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

'This is devastating news for all members of our organization,' said Police Chief Jim MacSween
Const. Travis Gillespie
Const. Travis Gillespie

A York Regional Police officer is dead following an early morning head-on collision in Markham on Wednesday.

Police confirmed 38-year-old Const. Travis Gillespie was killed in a two-vehicle crash on Major Mackenzie Drive, west of Warden Avenue, around 6 a.m.

“This is devastating news for all members of our organization,” said Police Chief Jim MacSween. “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.”

Investigators say the head-on crash involved a white Honda car, driven by Gillespie, and a black Porsche SUV.

Gillespie was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the Porsche, a 23-year-old Markham man, was transported to hospital with unknown injuries.

Investigators tell CityNews one of the drivers crossed the centre line and collided with an oncoming vehicle. Impairment is being investigated as a cause of the crash.

York police say Peel Regional Police will conduct the investigation into the crash to ensure York officers “are not further traumatized by the incident.”

CityNews 680 traffic reporter Jordan Kerr was over the scene in a chopper and said both vehicles suffered significant damage.

“A black SUV has a lot of front-end damage, its bumper is off and lying on the road,” he says. “The white car is in extremely bad shape, the front-end of it completely ripped off.”

Second GTA police officer killed this week

Gillespie was sworn in as a constable in April 2020 and worked as a special constable with Metrolinx and GO Transit prior to joining the police force.

York police say “he is survived by his parents, loved ones and colleagues.”

Earlier this week, Toronto Police Const. Andrew Hong was shot and killed during a shooting rampage that spanned the GTA.

Police services, officials and organizations across the province have shared their condolences throughout the day following his on-duty death.

A book of condolences will be set up this week to allow the public to pay its respects to the fallen officer.

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