Toronto police officer in serious weekend crash dies from his injuries
Published Sunday, December 1, 2013 11:57AM EST
Last Updated Monday, December 2, 2013 4:07PM EST
Toronto police constable John Zivcic, who was critically injured in a two-vehicle crash over the weekend, has died.
Deputy Police Chief Peter Sloly said Zivcic, died around 12:35 p.m. Monday at St. Michael’s Hospital, surrounded by his immediate family and members of 22 Division.
“I want to express our deepest condolences to the Zivcic family. I want to express our thanks to John for his tremendous service to this city. He died in the line of duty, doing his job, responding to an emergency call, trying to keep public safe,” Sloly said.
Deputy Chief Peter Sloly confirms a Toronto officer injured in a crash has died, Monday, Dec. 2, 2013.
“It’s a sad day for all of us,” he added.
The flag at 22 Division, where Zivcic worked, has been set at half-mast.
In an effort to give the officers at the station time to grieve, members of the Toronto Anti-Violence Intervention Strategy will be covering 22 Division Monday night.
Zivcic, 34, was rushed to hospital with life-threatening head injuries on Saturday afternoon after his police cruiser collided with another vehicle and slammed into a tree.
Police have remained tight-lipped regarding the details surrounding the crash, only to say that Zivcic was responding to an incident when he collided with a vehicle near Bloor Street West and Neilson Drive.
Zivcic had undergone several emergency surgeries and remained in critical condition over the past two days.
“We are going to be burying a 34-year-old police officer. There is no way to describe the tragedy and the impact that that has on the Toronto Police Service and John’s family,” Toronto Police Association President Mike McCormack said at a press conference outside the hospital this afternoon.
“This is a terrible day for the Toronto Police Service, our hearts are broken for John’s family,” he added.
McCormack confirmed to CTV News that Zivcic’s organs were donated.
Zivcic served as a divisional traffic officer with Toronto police for the past seven years and was known as a “dedicated” officer, McCormack said.
Mayor Rob Ford, who visited the Zivcic family over the weekend, sent his condolences from city hall.
“It’s with great sadness that I found out the passing of John Zivcic. He was a hard working constable with 22 Division and on behalf of the city of Toronto, our thoughts and prayers go out to him and his family during this challenging time,” Ford said.
“It’s really hard when you lose a loved one and I think we’ve all experienced that,” he added.
Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly also offered his sympathies on behalf of council.
“It’s sad, it’s a tragically sad situation. I’ve expressed my condolences on behalf of council and the city of Toronto,” Kelly said.
The Lieutenant Governor of Ontario David C. Onley has sent his sympathies in a statement earlier today.
Lorenzo Wade, a tow-truck operator who worked alongside Zivcic, went to 22 Division on Monday, overwhelmed with grief.
“He was always fair with people, he was fair with us, he was just really a good-hearted guy,” he said.
Zivcic’s family has asked McCormack to pass on their gratitude for the outpouring of support they have received from fellow police officers and members of the public during the time of grief.
An investigation into the collision is expected within the next few days.
In a statement released today, the Toronto Police Association said that they will continue to support the Zivcic family in the coming days.
“The Service and the Toronto Police Association are here to support the family as they move forward in this process and to support our officers as they grieve the loss of John,” the statement said.
Sloly said Police Chief Bill Blair, who is currently on vacation, has been fully engaged with authorities since the accident happened and is currently on his way to Toronto.
Police say funeral services will be announced later this week. No word yet on whether the family will opt for a public ceremony.
With reports from CTV Toronto’s Ashley Rowe and John Musselman