SQof­fi­cer and John Ab­bott student die in crash

Se­cond student death for Sainte-Anne-de-Bel­le­vue CEGEP

L'Etoile - - IN OTHER WORDS -

A Sûreté du Québec of­fi­cer and a student from John Ab­bott Col­lege's po­lice tech­no­lo­gy pro­gram died Sunday af­ter the car they were in lost control af­ter hit­ting a deer.

Montreal po­lice me­dia re­la­tions of­fi­cer Da­niel Lacoursière said a 25-year-old male of­fi­cer, Sé­bas­tien Cogh­lan-Goyette, and a 22-year-old fe­male student, So­phias Ri­gas, from the Sainte-Anne-de-Bel­le­vue CEGEP died of their in­ju­ries af­ter being trans­por­ted to an area hos­pi­tal.

The ac­ci­dent oc­cur­red in Les Cèdres at close to 6 p.m. on No­vem­ber 14. Po­lice say the of­fi­cer dri­ving the car was re­spon­ding to a 911 call. "He was dri­ving on route 340 east when he hit a deer," Lacoursière said.

The po­lice crui­ser left the road af­ter striking the ani­mal and ca­ree­ned vio­lent­ly in­to a tree.

Montreal po­lice have ta­ken over the in­ves­ti­ga­tion since it in­vol­ved ano­ther po­lice force and an on-du­ty of­fi­cer.

An on­going in­ves­ti­ga­tion being lead by the Montreal po­lice ma­jor crimes di­vi­sion and its col­li­sion squad is ex­pec­ted to take a few weeks, Lacoursière said.

'Well li­ked' student

While John Ab­bott Col­lege de­cli­ned to iden­ti­fy the student un­til her fa­mi­ly has been no­ti­fied, Jim An­der­son, co-chair for the school's po­lice tech­no­lo­gy pro­gram cal­led the 22-year-old wo­man a "sweet kid" who was well li­ked by her fel­low class­mates.

"She was a good student, she wor­ked ve­ry hard and real­ly ap­plied her­self," he said, ad­ding that in ad­di­tion to her stu­dies the young wo­man was wor­king to pay her own way through school.

An­der­son said the vic­tim was one of 82 se­cond-year stu­dents in a th­ree-year po­lice tech­no­lo­gy pro­gram. She was about to en­ter her fourth se­mes­ter.

The en­tire de­part­ment has 280 stu­dents en­rol­led in two or th­ree year po­lice tech pro­grams.

Ad­mis­sion to the high­ly co­ve­ted pro­grams is tough, An­der­son no­ted. Few drop out once in. "She had per­so­na­li­ty-plus, she was ve­ry bi­lin­gual, she would have ea­si­ly been hi­red by any num­ber of po­lice de­part­ments (upon com­ple­tion of her stu­dies)," he said.

The 82 se­cond-year po­lice tech stu­dents are re­qui­red to com­plete 48 hours of hand-on in­ter­n­ship trai­ning with a po­lice force.

Ac­cor­ding to An­der­son, the school works with Montreal po­lice, the SQ and other po­lice forces in or­der to place the stu­dents who com­plete the in­ter­n­ships over se­ve­ral shifts.

"It's to give them re­le­vant hands-on train- ing to see (what being a po­lice of­fi­cer) is like."

He said this is the first time the school has dealt with the death of a student who was ful­filling school re­qui­red du­ties.

It is too soon to say whe­ther any school po­li­cies will change as a re­sult of the ac­ci­dent.

Grief sup­port

Meanw­hile, the school is dea­ling with the se­cond death of a student in two weeks. On Oc­to­ber 31, Mit­chell Bracken-Gue­net, 17, a student in the school's fine arts pro­gram, died along with two other youths when they were struck by a Via Rail pas­sen­ger train on theTur­cot Yards train tracks.

As with that death, the school has made coun­sel­ling ser­vices avai­lable to stu­dents or staffw­ho may need it.

"(The po­lice tech­no­lo­gy) is a small de­part­ment," said Deb­bie Cribb a John Ab­bott Col­lege spo­kes­per­son, ad­ding all coun­sel­ling is con­fi­den­tial.

In ad­di­tion, tea­chers and stu­dents in the first class the vic­tim would have at­ten­ded were spo­ken to Mon­day mor­ning.

Cribb could not say if the school or po­lice tech de­part­ment would hold a me­mo­rial ser­vice for the student.

A 25-year-old SQ of­fi­cer and a 22year-old student from John Ab­bott Col­lege were killed Sunday when the car they were in hit a deer and cra­shed in­to a tree in Les Cèdres.

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