Ontario Honours OPP Constable Peter Kirk Who Died in Line of Duty
A Township of Champlain bridge on Highway 34 at County Road 17 has been officially dedicated in memory of fallen Ontario Provincial Police Const. Peter Kirk, 48 years to the day after he was killed while on duty.
Const. Kirk, 32, a member of the Hawkesbury OPP Detachment, died on June 9, 1968 while patrolling on County Road 17 between Alfred and L’Original. A collision occurred when an eastbound sports car went out of control, crossed into the westbound lane, and collided with the cruiser causing it to roll and come to rest on its roof in the ditch.
Memorial signs with the officer’s name and police service crest have been posted at each side of the bridge in his honour. Const. Kirk had nine years of service with the OPP at the time of his death.
“Ontario’s police officers put the safety of the community before their own every day, and we owe them a tremendous debt of gratitude. These bridge dedications commemorate the service, dedication, and ultimate sacrifice these officers and their families made on our behalf.”
— Yasir Naqvi, Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services
“As people drive on County Road 17, they will be able to reflect on the service of Const. Kirk and honour him and all those who have died in the line of duty.”
— Steven Del Duca, Minister of Transportation
“The loss of Const. Peter Kirk was a tragic occasion for his family, friends, his community and the entire policing family. I am pleased that, 48 years after this heartbreaking event, we continue to remember Const. Kirk as we honour him with this ceremony.”
— J.V.N. (Vince) Hawkes, Commissioner, Ontario Provincial Police
“Police officers put their lives on the line every time they put on their uniform and report for duty. This bridge dedication is a symbol of our thanks and eternal appreciation for the work they do every day.”
— Grant Crack, MPP (Glengarry—Prescott—Russell)
Since 2002, Ontario has permitted bridges and other highway structures to be dedicated in memory of fallen police officers.
Sixty-five provincial highway structures have been dedicated in honour of fallen police officers.
Read more about the fallen officers
Find out more about the Ontario Provincial Police
Backgrounder – Constable Peter Kirk
Peter Kirk was born on March 25, 1936 and achieved his goal of becoming a police officer when he was appointed to the Ontario Provincial Police on April 13, 1959.
Const. Kirk served with the OPP for nine years and spent his entire career at the Hawkesbury Detachment, near the Québec border.
On June 9, 1968, at approximately 2:30 a.m., Const. Kirk was driving his marked black and white cruiser while patrolling a westbound stretch of Highway 17, between Alfred and L’Original, in an area known locally as Blue Corners.
At the same time, an 18-year-old male driver, who was operating a small convertible vehicle, was travelling eastbound on the same stretch of Highway 17. As the young male driver travelled past Const. Kirk, in the opposite direction, the young driver’s car struck the soft gravel shoulder and then veered into the oncoming lane of traffic.
Const. Kirk’s police cruiser struck by the smaller vehicle which caused the cruiser to roll twice before coming to rest in the north ditch. Const. Kirk was killed in the collision.
Const. Kirk is survived by his wife Marg Kirk and his two adult children, Patrick and Paula, all who still reside in the Hawkesbury area.