BIBLE HILL – The RCMP across the country are in mourning after one of their officers was killed in a crash on a New Brunswick highway on Sept. 12.
Const. Francis (Frank) Deschenes was pronounced deceased at the scene after being struck by a utility van. Deschenes was stopped on Highway 2 in Memramcook to help motorists with a flat tire. The utility van struck both Deschenes and his police cruiser.
Nova Scotia RCMP Commanding Officer, Assistant Commissioner Brian Brennan met with Deschenes’ wife and family on Wednesday and, during a media conference on the tragedy, asked they be given privacy and respect they deserve.
“It is extremely challenging to describe what it feels like when we lose one of our own,” said Brennan. “In the RCMP, we are a family and every employee in Nova Scotia and across the country is impacted by the loss of Francis.”
Deschenes joined the RCMP in 2004, first being posted to the Stewiacke Detachment, then Bible Hill. He joined the Musical Ride and, following that time, returned to Nova Scotia and the traffic services team. He was also a member of the Special Tactical Operations/Tact Troop and was a Traffic Reconstructionist. In 2013, he received the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee medal.
Brennan confirmed an investigation into the fatal collision is active, but did say Deschenes was on duty during the time of the collision and using a marked police car.
The two motorists who had stopped with the flat tire were taken to hospital and released. The driver of the utility van was also treated at the hospital and taken into police custody.
“In the days and weeks ahead, our focus will be on the continued support for Cst. Deschenes’ family, friends and colleagues,” said Brennan. “This is going to be a tough road ahead and we have to take care of each other and ensure people are receiving the care and support they require.”