NEWMARKET, Ont. – Thousands gathered Tuesday to pay final tribute to York Regional Police Const. Garrett Styles.
The 32-year-old constable died on June 28 during what appeared to be a routine traffic stop east of Newmarket. He was pinned underneath a van allegedly driven by a 15-year-old boy.
The lineup of people honouring Styles stretched about three kilometres. Thousands of uniforms: police officers, paramedics and firefighers across North America joined to honour one of their own. Some wore a lapel pin that said “Heroes in life, not death.” Two firetrucks, with their ladders up, were flying a massive Canadian flag.
Styles was remembered as a father, husband and a dedicated police officer.
Before the constable’s casket was carried out, his hat and gloves were handed over to his widow.
Styles’ wife Melissa held back tears during the eulogy she gave, saying she’s in peices after losing the love of her life.
“Thank you so much for making me a mother and giving me something to hold on to now that you are gone. They will be reminded every day how much you loved them.”
The constable’s two children were sitting in the front row. His 10-week-old son Nolan was crying in the background.
Premier Dalton McGuinty had these words for the greiving family.
“I’m here today to tell you that we’re thinking of you, praying for you and we’re here to wish you strength and courage for the days ahead.”
Styles’ casket was carried by six pallbearers, all police officers, and walking behind them a York Regional Police officer, Const. Styles’ close friend, who carried his uniform hat.
The funeral procession went from Upper Canada Mall and head south on Yonge Street to Eagle Street, and then west along Eagle to the Ray Twinney Recreational Complex (100 Eagle St.) in Newmarket.
Sixty police motorcycles led the procession followed by a single York Regional Police cruiser with the numbers 1405 on the roof – Constable Styles’ badge number.
The accused 15-year-old boy, who was badly injured in the accident, has been charged with first-degree murder in Styles’ death and is scheduled to make his first court appearance on Thursday.
A trust fund has been set up Const. Styles’ wife, Melissa, and their two young children.
Cheques should be made payable to “In Trust for Melissa Styles” or “Melissa Styles In Trust.” Cheques can be mailed to the Newmarket branch of the Police Credit Union at:
Police Credit Union
18025 Yonge St.
Account number: 2000014 York Branch
Transit number: 63612
Deposits can be made directly at any branch of the Police Credit Union. Click here for locations.