She died the way she lived – serving the public. Thirty-one year-old Toronto policewoman Laura Ellis was killed Monday in a terrible accident in Scarborough. The 5-year veteran officer and her partner - 28-year-old Richard Tait, who was also injured – were en route to a break and enter call around 5am at Brimley and Huntingwood, when another car collided with the cruiser. Compounding the tragedy: the officer was a new mother, who had just returned from maternity leave.
The province’s Special Investigations Unit is looking into the accident. “There is no indication that there was a police pursuit,” notes S.I.U. spokesperson Rose Hong. “We have 12 investigators, that includes a supervisor and five forensic identification technicians, who are on the investigation of this matter.” The driver in the other car escaped with non-life threatening injuries.
The cruiser was almost unrecognizable after the crash. It was badly mangled after it wrapped itself around a utility pole. It was a terrible wake-up call for area residents. One said it sounded like a bomb had gone off.
Police devastated by loss
Mayor Mel Lastman Statement
"I'd like to extend my condolences to the female officer's friends, family and co-workers in this most difficult time. Although we ask our police to put their lives on the line every day, we hope and pray that they never have to pay this price. It is a dark day whenever a police officer is injured in the line of duty; what happened this morning is a tragedy of epic proportions."
Premier Mike Harris Statement
"On behalf of people across our province, I want to express my deepest condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Constable Laura Ellis. Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this tragic time.
Constable Ellis died in Toronto early this morning while on duty, responding to an emergency call. Her death is a sad reminder of the risks that police officers face every day to keep our communities safe.
I salute these men and women for their courage and the sacrifices they're willing to make. I also thank their families, whose support allows them to do their jobs.
My thoughts are also with Constable Ronald Tait, who was in the car with Constable Ellis, with the civilian who was injured in the accident and with both their families.