‘I will al­ways be proud of David’

Widow of man killed in po­lice ac­ci­dent re­lieved no charges will be laid

Cape Breton Post - - FRONT PAGE - BY JULIE COLLINS

Suzanne (Sue) Cordy breaks down in tears, re­lieved that there will be no charges in the death of David Walsh, her part­ner of 23 years.

Nova Sco­tia’s in­de­pen­dent Se­ri­ous In­ci­dent Re­sponse Team re­leased its re­port last week on a col­li­sion be­tween a Cape Bre­ton Re­gional Po­lice Ser­vice ve­hi­cle and the 66-year-old re­tired vol­un­teer fire­fighter on April 4.

Walsh was as­sist­ing po­lice and emer­gency re­spon­ders af­ter a child fell from the sec­ond­floor win­dow of a neigh­bour­ing house.

Ac­cord­ing to the re­port, the of­fi­cer’s ac­tions were caused by mo­men­tary inat­ten­tion and don’t con­sti­tute a crim­i­nal of­fence or jus­tify any charges un­der the Mo­tor Ve­hi­cle Act.

Sit­ting in Walsh’s favourite chair in the front room of their Perry Street home, Cordy said the cou­ple was get­ting ready to go to his birth­day party when he heard a com­mo­tion out­side.

“If he had to go, he al­ways said he wanted it to be in the front room of this house, and he died just feet away do­ing what he al­ways did, help­ing in a time of need. I still can’t be­lieve it hap­pened, it’s like I’m wait­ing for him to come back from the cabin where he spent so many happy times with his fish­ing bud­dies.”

Re­call­ing that fate­ful af­ter­noon, Cordy said it was chaotic.

“David was help­ing di­rect traf­fic, I could see him, and when I looked again, he was down.”

She said she thought at first that ev­ery­thing was go­ing to be all right.

“He went the way he wanted to, help­ing some­body, and that some­body was a child.”

Cordy said she was pleased that Se­ri­ous In­ci­dent Re­sponse Team of­fi­cials took the time to meet with her per­son­ally to ex­plain the re­port.

“They treated me with noth­ing but re­spect. To get the real pic­ture of what hap­pened that day, you re­ally had to be there. The fo­cus of ev­ery­one there was on the child and I un­der­stand the young­ster is do­ing well.

“We were al­ways on the same page, I knew it was a tragic ac­ci­dent and I hope the of­fi­cer in­volved knows this and gets on with his life. There is no hate in my heart, I’m glad David didn’t suf­fer,” she said, break­ing down for a mo­ment.

When he turned 65, Walsh re­tired as a vol­un­teer fire­fighter from the North Syd­ney Fire Depart­ment, and more re­cently re­tired from Law­son Prod­ucts where he worked as a sales­man for more than 20 years.

Cordy said first met Walsh at an in­stal­la­tion of of­fi­cers for the North Syd­ney Fire Depart­ment.

“That’s when the whole ad­ven­ture started. Like ev­ery cou­ple, over the years we had our ups and downs but we also had plenty of laughs,” she said. “We were to­gether for 23 years and knew each other for 26. We both loved the out­doors, did a lot of hik­ing and fish­ing to­gether. The out­doors, that was his thing, he loved to hunt and fish.”

Doc, one of their two res­cue cats, makes him­self com­fort­able on Cordy’s lap as she talks about Walsh’s love of chil­dren and ani- mals.

“When I first met David he was with search and res­cue, and en­joyed his time as a vol­un­teer with the North Syd­ney Fire Depart­ment. He loved be­ing in­volved in the an­nual At­lantic Burn Camp.”

The North Syd­ney Fire Depart­ment will present each camper at this year’s burn camp with a per­son­al­ized gift fea­tur­ing a trib­ute to Walsh.

“Since he re­tired, Dave was prob­a­bly at the fire depart­ment more than when he was a vol­un­teer,” said North Syd­ney Fire De- part­ment Chief Lloyd Mac­In­tosh. “The burn camp was a big part of what Dave did from the time the camp started. We are get­ting the kids an ex­tra spe­cial gift be­cause Dave was an ex­tra spe­cial part of it. It’s our way of hon­our­ing Dave and they will be pre­sented dur­ing Car­ni­val Night, some­thing he re­ally en­joyed.”

Cordy’s voice fal­ters a lit­tle as she talks about how proud Walsh would be to be re­mem­bered in such a way.

“He would love it be­cause again it’s the kids, it al­ways comes back to the kids. He so en­joyed pick­ing up prizes for the campers, he used to get some re­ally nice ones. David didn’t like the lime­light, but he would re­ally love that peo­ple thought of him in this way, with such fond­ness.”

Cordy was pleased to learn that Walsh was rec­og­nized in the May edi­tion of the Ma­clean’s mag­a­zine obit­u­ary fea­ture The End, which rec­og­nizes ev­ery­day Cana­di­ans.

“I will al­ways be proud of David and his car­ing spirit.”

JULIE COLLINS/CAPE BRE­TON POST

Suzanne Cordy dis­plays a favourite photo with her part­ner of 23 years, David Walsh, who died in a tragic ac­ci­dent in April.

JULIE COLLINS/CAPE BRE­TON POST

Suzanne Cordy and David Walsh.

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