York police officers airlifted to hospital after crash



TORONTO – Two York Regional Police officers were among three people seriously injured in two separate collisions north of Toronto Thursday.

The two media relations officers were leaving the scene of the first crash on Mt. Albert Rd., west of Hwy. 48 in East Gwillimbury, when a pickup truck smashed head-on into their car just before 4 p.m., police said.

"It's always bone-chilling when something like this happens," York Const. Blair McQuillan said of the crash. "You think about your colleagues and you think about their families."

Const. Andy Pattenden and Sgt. Kelly Bachoo were heading west on Mt. Albert Rd., near Kennedy Rd., when their unmarked car was hit by a pickup, McQuillan said.

"It's still under investigation, but it appears the truck crossed the centre line," he said.

The woman driving the pickup suffered minor injuries and was taken to hospital, McQuillan said.

The two officers, however, were badly hurt and airlifted to hospital.

"Their injuries are serious but not life-threatening," McQuillan said.

Ontario's Special Investigations Unit, which is called in any time there is a serious injury or death involving police, is now probing the crash.

It's unclear if weather was a factor.

About three hours before the officers were injured, Ornge dispatched an air ambulance to the scene of the first accident.

That crash involved two cars colliding head-on.

"As a result of (that) collision a male occupant in one of the vehicles sustained life-threatening injuries and was transported to hospital by air ambulance," Pattenden said in a news release earlier in the day.

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