[Update] York Police officer dead – 15 year old driver charged with first degree murder

Compiled by terrance gavan: With Reports from CBC Radio and CP

Update! – Today CBC Radio Toronto announced that the 15 year old driver is charged with first degree murder.

Canadian Press reports that “A York Regional Police officer has died after being struck by a vehicle and trapped under a minivan.

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Photo BY Rene Johnston. York police seen crying and hugging at the scene of tragic death.

Today, CBC Radio played the officer’s call for help. In the short recording – edited down  because of the graphic nature of the call to the dispatcher – the officer, Garrett Styles can be heard clearly asking for assistance. Styles asks response teams to come quickly. He delineates, again quite clearly, that he is trapped under a vehicle.

Rescue crews responded and took him to hospital where the young police officer succumbed to his injuries. His father was a sergeant in the Peel police force before he retired this past January. Styles’s wife is a civilian member of the force. They have two young children, two years and nine weeks.

The officer was making a routine stop of a mini van when the 15 year old unlicensed driver tried to flee the scene. The mini van with other teens in it dragged Styles for 300 meters before rolling it into the ditch.

The driver is in hospital with serious injuries. The other teens are cooperating in what has now become a homicide investigation.

The morning report from Canadian Press follows:

“Police said the male officer stopped a vehicle at Herald Road and Highway 48 in the town of East Gwillimbury at about 4:50 a.m. Tuesday.

He has been identified as Constable Garrett Styles, 32, the son of a retired York Regional Police officer.

Styles was struck by a vehicle and pinned underneath it. He was taken to South Lake Regional Health Centre where he died of his injuries.

Two people have reportedly been arrested although police won’t confirm that.

Police Chief Eric Jolliffe spoke briefly to reporters at the hospital.

“It is with deep regret that I advise you that a very confident and capable police officer of the York Regional Police has succumbed to his injuries this morning as a result of a traffic stop on 48 Highway,” said Jolliffe.

“The family wishes that you observe some time for them to collect themselves. I’ve had some brief discussions with them and they’d very much appreciate that at this particular time that you give them the space to deal with their loss.”

Jolliffe didn’t identify the officer, and said the name could be released at an afternoon news conference.

Officers have been seeing hugging and crying at the scene.

Highway 48 is closed in both directions between Mount Albert Road and Davis Drive as police continue their investigation.

People have taken to Twitter to express their condolences.

One writes “York officer killed while doing his job…..How sad is that… Rest in peace my friend.”

Another writes “RIP to the York Region officer who got struck and killed during a traffic stop this morning.. My condolences… bows head”

The Canadian Press and  CBC  Radio with Terrance Gavan – Editor Hal Highlands.ca

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