On-duty RCMP officer dies in collision

An Alberta RCMP officer was killed Tuesday while conducting traffic enforcement on Highway 2A near the town of Millet, just south of Edmonton.

An RCMP officer was killed Tuesday while conducting speed enforcement on Highway 2A near the town of Millet, Alta., about 53 kilometres south of Edmonton.

Const. James Lundblad, 41, of the RCMP's traffic services unit in Camrose was killed when his marked RCMP vehicle was involved in a collision with a grain truck on the highway around 10 a.m.

Lundblad was parked on the shoulder of the highway when a suspected speeder passed by. As the constable made a U-turn to intercept the vehicle, he was struck on the driver's side by the grain truck, RCMP said.

Both vehicles travelled across the southbound lane into the ditch.

Lundblad was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the grain truck was not injured.

Lundblad had been a member of Camrose traffic services unit for a year and a half, after spending his first six years with the RCMP in Edson, Alta. He was originally from Valleyview, Alta., and was unmarried.

RCMP Cpl. Wayne Oakes said Lundblad was well-liked and respected by his colleagues in the detachment.

"There is obviously a lot of raw emotion with the people who knew him, the people who loved him," Oakes said.

In a news release, Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach expressed his sadness over the Lundblad's death.

"The men and women who wear the uniform of the RCMP are a source of pride in Alberta. The loss of one of our peace officers in the line of duty is mourned by the entire community. My thoughts and prayers go out to the member's family and friends, and his colleagues in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, during this tragic time," Stelmach said.

Alberta Solicitor General and Public Security Minister Fred Lindsay also extended his sympathies in a written statement.

"On behalf of all members of the Legislative Assembly and all Albertans, I extend my deepest sympathies to the family, friends, and colleagues of the RCMP member who lost his life serving us," he said. "Through our words and actions, we must ensure this officer's ultimate sacrifice, and that of others before him, is never forgotten."

Highway 2A has been closed to traffic between Millet and Township Road 472 while police conduct their investigation.