The Mountie killed early Tuesday morning in a crash with a transport truck had been a police officer in Surrey for three-and-a-half years and was a second-generation RCMP member.
Const. Adrian Oliver, 28, was on duty when his unmarked police vehicle and a semi-trailer collided in the intersection of 64 Avenue and 148 Street in Newton.
Colleagues at the Surrey RCMP’s main detachment wore black and blue ribbons to honour Oliver as they listened to the official announcement of his death to media Tuesday morning. Several wept over the sudden loss of their friend and co-worker.
RCMP Assistant Commissioner Craig Callens said it was an “extremely difficult and sad day for the RCMP,” and extended condolences to Oliver’s friends and family, including his mother, father and two brothers.
He said Oliver’s father is also a serving member of the RCMP, as is one of his brothers, who is an officer in the Lower Mainland.
Callens said Oliver had been an RCMP member since late 2008, and was excited to follow in his father’s footsteps.
“Clearly it is a tragic day for the Oliver family and for the entire RCMP,” Callens said.
RCMP Supt. Bill Fordy, officer in charge of the Surrey detachment, said Oliver was was heading back to the Surrey RCMP detachment on 56 Avenue and 144 Street at the end of his shift when the fatal crash occurred. The police vehicle was reportedly driving west on 64 Avenue while the transport truck was driving east. There is no indication Oliver’s vehicle’s lights or sirens were activated at the time.
The investigation continues with the oversight of the Vancouver Police Department.
Fordy called Oliver “an outstanding police officer, with a great attitude and commitment to serve others.”
He said the primary concern right now is for Oliver’s family and friends and said the RCMP is ensuring members and employees impacted by the death have the proper support.
Canada’s Minister of Public Safety, Vic Toews, also expressed his condolences to Oliver’s family, friends and colleagues.
“This is a very sad day for all Canadians. The death of a police officer in the line of duty reminds us of the devotion and sacrifice of those who serve each day to keep us safe.”
37 years since Surrey RCMP last lost a member on duty
Const. Adrian Oliver is the first Surrey RCMP officer killed in the line of duty since 1975.
There have been four other on-duty Surrey Mountie deaths.
The last officer to die was Const. John Brian Baldwinson, who died on Oct. 28, 1975. He was driving late at night in poor visibility when he struck a horse and was killed.
Const. John Terrance Draginda was responding to a report of a collision when he was involved in a crash with another vehicle on Sept. 29, 1974. Draginda and two people in the other vehicle were killed.
Const. Roger Emile Pierlet died on March 29, 1974. He was working his last shift before taking time off for his wedding when he saw a vehicle being driven erratically. He stopped the car and was shot to death by one of the occupants.
Const. Archille Octave Maxime Lepine was driving a police motorcycle on King George Highway on July 15, 1962 when a vehicle turned left in front of him. He died from his injuries four days later.
There have been other Surrey RCMP officers killed since 1975, but not while on duty.
One of the most recent was helicopter pilot Dave Brolin. Brolin, 46, had been an RCMP member since June 2006 and died when his helicopter crashed last January following a training exercise near Chilliwack.
There is a Wall of Honour inside the Surrey RCMP detachment on 144 Street and 56 Avenue with photos of the four fallen members who died on duty.