GUELPH, Ont. – A 26-year-old Guelph police officer was killed Thursday after she apparently lost control of her cruiser and crashed into a bus.
Guelph Police Const. Jennifer Kovach, brought “excitement, energy [and] passion” to the job, Police Chief Bryan Larkin said.
“I think that from a perspective of the chief, one of the greatest challenges is to see somebody with so much potential, with so much energy, taken from us so soon,”
“There are no words to express our sorrow. There are no words to express our sadness but the one thing that we commit to as an organization is to move forward, ensuring that Jennifer is never forgotten.”
Larkin said Kovach was dedicated to her job and her community.
“In fact, [she] had other offers of employment to police elsewhere in Ontario and chose to remain in her hometown to make a difference.”
Police said Kovach was responding to assist another officer when her cruiser crossed the centre line and hit an oncoming Guelph Transit bus shortly after 12:30 a.m.
The bus had no passengers at the time and the driver had only minor injuries.
Kovach was taken to hospital, where she was pronounced dead, Larkin said.
Investigators are looking into whether road conditions were a factor.
Kovach was the daughter of Gloria Kovach, a city councillor in Guelph.
Mayor Karen Farbridge and chief administrative officer Ann Pappert expressed their condolences to the Kovach family in a joint statement.
“Our heartfelt condolences go to Councillor Gloria Kovach, Constable Kovach’s mother, and their family, who have lost a loved one this morning. There are no words that can adequately express our sorrow over their tragic loss.”
“We also recognize this is a very difficult time for our Guelph Police Service who have lost a member of their service. We would like to express our gratitude for their brave service, and assure them that Constable Kovach will always be remembered for her sacrifice to keep our community safe.”
Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne said she was deeply saddened to hear of Kovach’s death.
“She was so young, with such a promising career ahead of her and her presence will be missed on the job and throughout her community,” Wynne said in a statement.
“Ontario owes a debt of gratitude to Const. Kovach and all of our police officers, who do so much to serve and protect the people of this province.”
Prime Minister Stephen Harper took to Twitter to send his sympathies.
“Tragic news out of Guelph,” the tweet said. “Condolences to the friends and family of Constable Jennifer Kovach.”