Impaired driving charges laid in Markham collision that left police officer dead

A man is facing charges including impaired driving in connection with a collision in Markham on Wednesday morning that left a York Regional Police officer dead.

Police said a white Honda Accord and a Porsche Cayenne collided on Major Mackenzie Drive East, between Richard Person Drive and Warden Avenue, at around 6 a.m.

The driver of the Accord was pronounced dead at the scene. He was later identified as York Regional Police Const. Travis Gillespie. Police said the 38-year-old was on his way to work when the crash happened.

Meanwhile, the driver of the Porsche, a 23-year-old man, was shortly taken into custody and taken to the hospital, where he was treated for minor injuries.

Peel Regional Police took over the investigation following a request from York Regional Police. It was made to “ensure members of York Regional Police are not further traumatized by this incident.”

On Thursday, Peel police announced that they had charged the Porsche driver, identified as Markham resident Haoju Zhou, with impaired operation causing death and dangerous operation causing death.

Zhou has since been released from hospital and has appeared in court.

Peel police also confirmed to CTV News that a third vehicle was involved in the crash, but the driver has not been charged. They continue to ask anyone with information to contact investigators or Crime Stoppers.

On Thursday, York Regional Police set up books of condolence for Const. Gillespie in the lobby of their five district stations and their Aurora headquarters.

Gillespie is survived by his parents, loved ones and colleagues, who described him as hard-working and well-liked. Gillespie worked as a special constable for Metrolinx/GO Transit before joining the police force.

He also volunteered with Community Living and Primal MMA Academy.

Gillespie became a member of the York Regional Police in April 2020 and was assigned to the #2 District Uniform Patrol.

Leave a Comment