British Columbia

Victoria police officer who spent 30 years in a coma laid to rest

Const. Ian Jordan had been in a coma since crashing his police cruiser while responding to an emergency in 1987.

Const. Ian Jordan died last week after spending three decades in a mostly unresponsive state

The funeral for Const. Ian Jordan was Thursday. (CBC)

Hundreds of people lined a procession route outside a church Thursday before the funeral of a Victoria constable who had been in an unresponsive state for most of 30 years.

Const. Ian Jordan's wife Hilary Jordan and their son Mark walked arm-in-arm up the steps of Victoria's Christ Church Cathedral, where about 1,000 mourners, mostly law-enforcement personnel, paid their respects to the officer who died last week.

His coffin, draped with the Canadian flag, was carried by uniformed pall bearers after officers from Canada and the United States marched to the church from the headquarters of the Victoria Police Department.

Chief Const. Del Manak said earlier Thursday that he provided regular department updates to Jordan as he lay in hospital.

Manak said Jordan never acknowledged his presence during the visits, but the officer's emotional presence could not be denied.

"I would talk to him," Manak said. "I would give him updates and let him know what was going on in the police department. I would let him know of the men and women who are always thinking of him."

Jordan was injured in a crash with another police cruiser as both officers raced toward the same emergency call in September 1987.

The chief said he always looked for signs of responsiveness from Jordan during his visits.

"I don't know to what level of awareness he could understand but I do believe in my heart that he knew people were there, that people were talking to him," Manak said.

Hilary Jordan said her husband's eyes would light up when she spoke of their son, who was 16 months old when the crash happened.

She said doctors could never say if he was conscious and unable to communicate or if the responses he showed were simply reflexes.

Retired Victoria police Sgt. Ole Jorgensen — the other officer involved in the crash — said he visited his friend often and that Jordan sometimes seemed awake.

Manak said Jordan never left the minds and hearts of the department's officers, who are like a family.

"It's tight-knit and you never leave somebody behind and forget about them, regardless of how much passage of time there's been."