Ottawa police officer killed in crash called a 'bright light'

Const. Michael Robillard — a 32-year-old Ottawa police officer who died in a crash south of Ottawa on Sunday afternoon — was being remembered by colleagues Monday as a "bright light" with a promising career ahead of him.

Const. Michael Robillard, a father, had been with Ottawa police for 4 years, worked in east district

Police Const. Michael Robillard died in a crash on 8th line Road while off-duty. 2:18

Const. Michael Robillard — a 32-year-old Ottawa police officer who died in a crash south of Ottawa on Sunday afternoon — was being remembered by colleagues Monday as a "bright light" with a promising career ahead of him.

The crash happened just after 3:30 p.m. Sunday on 8th Line Road, south of Parkway Road, northeast of Greely.

Robillard had been on his way to work in his Honda when it collided with a Dodge minivan.

Ottawa police Const. Michael Robillard died in a crash near Greely, south of Ottawa, as he was headed to a night shift . (Ottawa police)

The cause of the crash is not yet known.

Firefighters had to extricate a woman who was driving the Dodge by removing the dash and driver's side door. They also removed her young daughter from the van. They were both taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

The child has since been released from hospital. Her mother remains in hospital in serious but stable condition with broken bones, cuts and a punctured lung.

Firefighters had begun to extricate Robillard from the Honda, but when paramedics assessed him he was declared dead at the scene.

The collisions unit is investigating.

'Loving husband, proud father," Ottawa police chief says

Robillard began his policing career in Cornwall in 2004, then was hired by Ottawa police in September 2009.

"Mike was a loving husband to his wife Alyson, proud father to his three-year old son Ben, and valued friend and colleague to many," read an emailed statement from Ottawa police Chief Charles Bordeleau.

"He was an exceptional investigator who was proud to be a police officer and had passions not only for his family and policing, but baseball, music and life in general," Bordeleau said.

Flags at all Ottawa police buildings will remain at half mast until sundown on the day of Robillard's funeral, which hasn't yet been announced.

'Placed a true value on his family,' Cornwall police chief says

Robillard, right, worked with Cornwall police before coming to Ottawa. (Cornwall Police)

Robillard began his policing career in Cornwall, Ont., east of Ottawa, in 2004. He was hired under Cornwall police Chief Daniel Parkinson, who received a phone call last night about Robillard's death.

"When Mike was here he was a bright young man with a very promising future in policing, and I believe that promise had started to be demonstrated in Ottawa. He had moved into an investigative capacity there," Parkinson said by phone Monday.

"But he certainly was a bright light in the workforce when he was here, a very positive individual, one who took his profession very, very seriously. But beyond that, [he was] one who placed a true value on his family and his family life, and it was for that reason that Mike actually left the Cornwall area to be closer to his wife's family in Ottawa."

Parkinson said Robillard started out in patrol in Cornwall but took on extra responsibilities "very early on" in the tactical containment team, requiring more training, a high level of physical fitness and a dedication to duty beyond regular hours.

Ottawa police sources told CBC News Robillard had recently been transferred to work out of the E Division at the police station on Innes Road, where he was headed for a night shift Sunday.

Fallen police Const. Eric Czapnik was also a member of E Division.

Robillard used to work out of the office at Leitrim. Sources said officers from Leitrim responded to the crash and were shocked to find their colleague. Officers are being offered counselling services.

Flags at Ottawa police stations are flying at half mast Monday in Robillard's memory.