Surrey RCMP Constable Adrian Oliver, who was killed in a head-on crash earlier this morning, is the fifth Surrey Mountie to die while on duty since the force began policing this city in 1951.
Oliver, 28, was heading back to the detachment headquarters near the end of his shift just before 5 a.m. Tuesday when the unmarked police car he was driving crashed with a semi-truck at 148th Street and 64th Avenue.
The crash demolished the front end of the police car, but the truck's driver wasn't injured. Vancouver Police are investigating the crash.
Oliver had been with the Surrey RCMP for three and a half years, as a general duty officer with C Watch.
"He was an outstanding police officer, with a great attitude and commitment to serve others," said Chief Supt. Bill Fordy, officer in charge of the Surrey RCMP. "I want to express my most sincere condolences to his family, friends and coworkers during this difficult time."
Oliver didn't have a wife or children but is survived by his mother, father and two brothers.
Deputy Commissioner Craig Callens, commanding officer for the RCMP in B.C., noted Oliver was a second-generation Mountie, as his dad is serving with the RCMP in Ottawa and one of his brothers serves here in the Lower Mainland.
"As Commanding Officer I can tell you that these incidents are truly among the most difficult we have to deal with," Callens said. "Each day throughout this province and country, families of police officers see their loved ones off to work, to serve their communities," he noted. "For most of these families, their loved ones return home safely at the end of their shift as expected."
Callens and Fordy spoke at a press conference in the central atrium of the Surrey detachment, in front of the Wall of Honour. The wall was set up in 2006, in memory of four Mounties who died with on duty in Surrey.
Const. Archille Octave Maxime Lepine was killed in a traffic collision in 1962, when his motorcycle crashed with a car on King George Boulevard (called King George Highway at the time).
In 1974, Const. Roger Emile Pierlet was shot dead after stopping a suspicious-looking car in Cloverdale. He was working his last shift before he was going to take time off to get married. Two men were sentenced to life in prison for the shooting, after their death sentences were commuted.
Later in 1974, Const. John Terrance Draginda was killed in a traffic collision in Guildford, while responding to a call about another crash. Draginda and two other people in the other car were killed.
In 1975, Const. John Brian Baldwinson died when his patrol car collided with a horse along the Pacific Highway.
Callens noted that Oliver began his training as an RCMP cadet in 2008 and first reported for duty on June 1, 2009.