Our Loss of Cst. Sarah Beckett - Statement from C/Supt. Ray Bernoties
B.C., West Shore
2016-04-05 12:05 PDT
I am Chief Superintendent Ray Bernoties, District Commander for the RCMP on Vancouver Island.
Today is a tragic and difficult day. Today we lost one of our own. It is with great sadness that I must tell you that earlier this morning – around 3:30 a.m. - Constable Sarah Beckett was in a serious motor vehicle collision. She was on duty at the time, and did not survive the crash. She was 32 years old.
This morning I met with her family, who must now start to deal with this absolute tragedy. Sarah leaves behind her husband, and two young children, as well as her mother and her sister, and countless friends.
They ask for privacy as they grieve.
Right now Sarah’s RCMP family of police officers and employees are beginning to realize the impact of Sarah’s loss as well. There are tough days ahead.
Sarah has been with the RCMP since 2005, and spent all of her eleven years of service on Vancouver Island – in Port McNeil, Langford, Colwood and was on shift this morning as part of the West Shore RCMP.
I have spoken with our Commanding Officer, Deputy Commissioner Craig Callens, as well as Assistant Commissioner Sharon Woodburn, who is acting as head of the BC RCMP right now. Both expressed to me their support, and offers of condolence.
I can’t go into many details right now, as there is an active criminal investigation into the fatal collision. However, I can confirm that Cst. Beckett was working in General Duty, and was in a marked police car, travelling eastbound on Goldstream Avenue when there was a collision with another vehicle.
Paramedics were on scene shortly after, and tried to revive her. However she was pronounced deceased just after 4 a.m. The driver of the other vehicle was taken to hospital for a medical assessment, but his injuries are not considered serious. He is now in police custody.
There is a criminal investigation underway, being led by the RCMP’s Regional General Investigation Section. The Saanich Police Department is investigating the circumstances surrounding the collision.
While we of course take the time to gather the facts and determine what happened, my focus will be to ensure continued support for Constable Beckett’s family, friends and colleagues during this most difficult time.
Several steps have been taken to ensure all of our members are receiving the care and support they require.
Respecting that there is a serious investigation underway at this time I can take a few questions.
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