The chief of Peel Regional Police said Wednesday his force has "suffered a great loss" following the death of an officer in a fatal traffic collision.
Chief Mike Metcalf said the family and friends of Const. Artem [James] Otchakovski are grieving the death of the officer who died of his injuries after his police cruiser was involved in a two-car accident at Airport Road and Steeles Avenue on Monday night.
Otchakovski, 36, was on his way to assist another officer, said Metcalf, when the accident happened at about 11 p.m.
The force's major collision bureau is investigating.
Metcalf could not give any details of how the accident happened and said the investigation may take weeks.
The driver of the other car involved in the accident — a 22-year-old man from Brampton — was not seriously injured and has been released from hospital.
Metcalf said Otchakovski was a relatively new member of the Peel force, having joined in 2008.
Otchakovski was originally from Moldova and had come to Canada from Israel in 1995.
He was married with a three-year-old son.
"It's a very sombre atmosphere. I think it's painful for a lot of his colleagues on the same platoon. It's an overall sadness I think within our organization, right now," said Metcalf.
The Peel force has not had a death of an officer on duty in more than 25 years.