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Mountie killed helping motorists had history of going 'the extra mile'

Mountie killed helping motorists had history of going 'the extra mile'
From CBC - September 13, 2017

The 35-year-old Mountie who was killed Tuesday night when he pulled over to help change a flat tire on the Trans-Canada Highway near Memramcook, N.B., had a history of going above and beyond to help others, said the commanding officer of the Nova ScotiaRCMP.

Const. Francis Deschenes was hailed as a hero in 2008 for saving a 26-year-old woman whose car was stopped on railroad tracks nearTruro, N.S., as a CN freight train sped toward it, said Assistant Commissioner BrianBrennan.

Deschenesused his cruiser to push the caroff the tracks, with only seconds to spare before the ongoing train would have smashed into the car and possibly derailed.

"That's just one demonstration of his dedication and commitment," Brennantold reportersduring a news conference Wednesday at the Amherst detachment where Deschenes worked in traffic services.

The northern New Brunswick native and 12-year veteran of the national police forcewas also a 2013 recipientof the Queen's Diamond Jubilee medal, whichhonours"significant contributions and achievements by Canadians."

Brennandid not knowDeschenespersonally, but saidbased onconversationswith hisfamily and friends,"he was extremely dedicated to theRCMP.

"He loved what he did."

Deschenes'sactions on Tuesday,stoppingto help two people in an SUV change a tire, "speaks to the core of what policing should beinvolved in your community, looking out for people,takingthe time to do those small things that would go a long way," saidBrennan.

Hiswork as a traffic reconstructionisttrained to investigatecollisions anddetermine causes, as a member of the Special Tactical Operations/Tact Troop, and as a former member of the Musical Ride "speaks to his dedication and his willingness to go the extra mile and do the best he can for everybody," hesaid.

The preliminary investigation by the New BrunswickRCMPindicatesautility van collided with themarked police car and the SUV shortly after 6 p.m. AT.

Deschenesdied at the scene.The two people from the SUV were taken to the hospital and later released.

The driver of the van was also treated in hospital and taken into police custody. No charges have been laid.

'Unimaginable tragedy'

Brennansaid he could not provide many details about the circumstances ofDeschenes' death, given the active criminal investigation.

But he described the loss as a"tragic day for theNovaScotiaRCMPand our entireRCMPfamily."

"It is extremely challenging to describe what it feels like when we lose one of our own.In theRCMP, we are a family and every employee in Nova Scotia and across the country is impacted by the loss of FrancisFrank as he was better known."

Brennan said he met withDeschenes'wifeand family members."They are dealing with unimaginable tragedy, and I ask that they be given the privacy and respect they deserve as they grieve the loss of their husband, son, brother and friend."

The RCMP's focus in the coming days will be on thecontinued support forDeschenes' family, friends and colleagues, he said.

"This is going to be a tough road ahead, and we have to take care of each other and ensure people are receiving the care and support they require."

Outsidethe AmherstRCMPdetachment, flags were at half-mast on Wednesday afternoon.

@JustinTrudeau

'You arejust kind of left with an empty and helpless feeling.' - Ian Naylor, Amherst police chief

@JMBlais1

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