UPDATE: Toronto Police Cst. John Zivcic dies

The 34-year old officer died of injuries he sustained in a car collision, while on duty

A man called 'a rising star' in Toronto's police force has died of injuries he suffered in the line of duty.

34-year old Toronto Police Cst. John Zivcic passed away around 12:30pm on Monday, at St. Michael's hospital in downtown Toronto.

He was gravely hurt when the unmarked patrol car he was driving was involved in a violent collision on Bloor Street, near Highway 427 on Saturday afternoon. Zivcic was rushing to a call when his cruiser collided with another car and slammed into a pole. He was thrown out of the car.

Deputy Police Chief Peter Sloly says Zivcic was surrounded by his family when he died.

Police Chief Bill Blair has been out of town since the crash happened and was not able to make it to the city in time for the announcement but extended his condolences to John's mother, brother, sister and all of his extended family.

The Office of the Chief and the Toronto Police Association are working closely with the family on making funeral arrangements.

Cst. Zivcic had been with Toronto Police for 7 years. He worked at 22 Division, in the city's west end. 

He was interviewed for a Toronto Police article when he first joined the force in 2008.

He was trained as a tool and dye maker and speaks Croatian. “I think I will grow as a person and learn a lot,” he said on being part of the force. 

"He was a well-respected, hard working police officer," Toronto Police Association President Mike McCormack told Newstalk 1010.

"We're going to be burying a 34-year-old police officer and there's no way to describe the tragedy and the impact that that has on the Toronto Police Service and John's family," said McCormack.

Zivcic is survived by his mother, brother, sister, brother-in-law, and sister-in-law.

The officer's family expressed their thanks to the public, St. Michael's Hospital, Toronto police and various other police services across the country, who expressed prayers over the weekend that Zivcic would pull through, McCormack said.

"They are so overwhelmed by the amount of support in this terrible, terrible time of grieving," he said.

Mayor Rob Ford said his thoughts and prayers go out to the officer's family. "He worked very hard and that's why we have to support our frontline police men and women,'' Ford said at city hall. "They sacrifice their life day in and day out and it's a very sad day today.''

Members of the Toronto Police Services Board are saddened by `"the loss of a young life and a promising career," said its president, Alok Mukherjee.

"I want to convey our sincere condolences to John's family: his mother, his brothers,'' Mukherjee said. ``They have been with him all along and I just want to say to the members of the Toronto Police Service that our sympathies are with them also."

The woman involved in the collision suffered minor injuries and at this point, it's not clear what exactly caused the collision

Sloly says "it is a collision investigation that is unfolding as it should."

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  1. don was right posted on 12/02/2013 11:43 AM
    Hmmmm Traffic cop "rushing" to a call. At what speed? Why? Wreckage looks like the Fast and Furious. And this was a Crown Vic. No news of any other major traffic accidents in Etobicoke that day?
    1. Dianne posted on 12/10/2013 12:29 AM
      @don was right The newspapers have reported that the cruiser was A Dodge Stealth.

      The death of this young officer is due to poor police training, i.e., the strict enforcement of fastening seatbelts ESPECIALLY in high-speed pursuits.

      Wearing a seatbelt would have greatly increased his chance of survival.

      R.I.P. Office Zivcic
  2. RickC_1236 posted on 12/02/2013 12:05 PM
    I wonder if he was wearing a seatbelt
  3. john posted on 12/02/2013 02:18 PM
    thats what u get for driving a tin can .
  4. RickC_1236 posted on 12/02/2013 02:19 PM
    Seat belts save lives
  5. Tim posted on 12/02/2013 02:36 PM
    My condolences to his family. I can't imagine what they are going through right now.

    No point in speculating whether or not he was wearing a seatbelt or excessively speeding (as some people here have already done). We will find that out soon enough.
    1. RickC_1236 posted on 12/02/2013 03:17 PM
      @Tim its not a speculation they already confirmed that
  6. a posted on 12/02/2013 03:28 PM
    Is this another tragic death due to driver error, this time failing to wear a seatbelt? There need to be serious deterrents to careless driver error, especially in policing.
  7. Karl Burgin posted on 12/02/2013 03:55 PM
    I'm really sorry this man died- was quite surprised when they mentioned it a couple hours ago. Question though- although they haven't "officially" confirmed the cause, how is it the car he hit, that its driver didn't even suffer half the injuries this police officer suffered?

    I also heard that they're starting to blame the new police cars. Saying that the new Ford Taurus isn't as big as the older Crown Vics. Ok, fine. But still that doesn't explain how he got ejected via the windshield. Unless his seat-belt was somehow faulty (in which a mass vehicle recall should have been called- yesterday), there needs to be some sort of clarification on this...
    1. Beamer Smith posted on 12/05/2013 11:42 AM
      @Karl Burgin Gotta wonder where the airbag was..
      I don't normally like cops, but this is not the time for that.
  8. Angry Bill posted on 12/02/2013 04:00 PM
    Typically, police do not wear seatbelts while in their cruisers. They like being able to get out of the vehicle fast. Which, apparently, is what happened to this police officer.

    Police also do most of the things they tell the rest of us not to do.. they talk on the phone while driving, text, and operate their computers while driving. Their reasoning for doing so is they're better trained than us.

    1. k posted on 12/02/2013 06:06 PM
      @Angry Bill Traffic laws and insurance implications need to be the same for everyone to prevent deadly negligence.
    2. Ron posted on 12/02/2013 07:06 PM
      @Angry Bill Police Officers are not exempt from the seat belt law with the exception if they have a prisoner in the car they can choose to not wear it. This accident is doubly tragic as a seat belt most likely would have saved his life. It is not uncommon to see Metro Officers not wearing their belts and the question begs to be answered, WHY NOT? It's the law and they save lives. Also flies in the face of the often publicized seat belt enforcement campaigns.
  9. kenfromcanada posted on 12/02/2013 06:52 PM
    We routinely fight various police forces daily - in the POA Courts all over Southern Ontario. Differences aside - they do a job most of us would not want to do.

    And in most part - do it well.

    My sincere and heartfelt condolences to the family of this officer!

  10. Ron posted on 12/02/2013 07:09 PM
    Maybe this tragedy will encourage the many other Metro Police Officers who disobey the seat belt law to buckle up like they are required to do.
  11. Christina posted on 12/02/2013 09:04 PM
    I cannot believe the comments I am reading. No he obviously wasn't wearing a seatbelt. Yes of course he was speeding. That's how police respond so quickly to EMERGENCIES. No it wasn't a crown Vic. What does that matter. A man is dead. In the line of duty. People, please. Put your hate aside. Have you no compassion? Hey remember what your mother told you? If you don't have anything kind to say, don't say anything at all. At the school were I teach we remind students to THINK before texting is what you are about to post True Harmful Illegal Necessary Kind? Guess some adults need that guidance too.
    My heartfelt sympathies go out to the family.
    1. dennis posted on 12/03/2013 05:41 AM
      @Christina @ Christina......

      Thanks mother hen!

      Your truly go solve all the troubles in the middle east also, since you truely are the voice of reason.
    2. Ron posted on 12/03/2013 10:16 AM
      @Christina It is said beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Seeing hate in what is written above is something also being seen by the beholder - you. I read every comment and apart from some sarcasm in a couple of instances, which is uncalled for an inappropriate, there is no hate expressed.. Commenting that this tragedy could likely have been avoided by having complied with the seat belt law is an accurate observation expressed in a forum intended for such purpose. His death is a tragedy which likely could have been avoided. If you choose not to accept or consider or think about that then fine - stick your head in the sand but don't be critical of others for seeing it for what it is. You are saddened over his death well so am I but I'm also a little angry to think it was unnecessary and avoidable. When first responders attend to an emergency the most important thing is that they get there - think about that and maybe pass that on to your students as well.
  12. Karl Burgin posted on 12/03/2013 09:26 AM
    As I said before, I am very saddened by the fact he died. I'm sure a lot of the people who has posted here feel the same thing. But as ANGRY BILL has alluded to in his posting, and which you are as well, he is speeding and not wearing a seat belt. Two VERY mitigating factors that have cost someone their life. And it is a notion which you can't really defend.

    The fact is this. The law is the law. And it should be applied across the board. This includes the one who creates it, the ones who administer it, and the ones who its meant for to follow it. Police are a role model to the citizens they serve and protect. So when you have some punk kid racing through the streets, and not wearing a belt, and they stop him/ticket him, he has reasonable grounds to fight it. Because the people who enforce the law don't seem to follow it. And having extra training isn't an excuse either. Behind the bullet-proof windshield, and the Kevlar vest is still a human being, made of flesh-and-blood. And what has been illustrated here, is no amount of training can save you when you are catapulted through a windshield because you aren't wearing a seat belt.

    In the end, the police have got to follow the same rules, they expect the rest of us to follow.
  13. john posted on 12/03/2013 10:42 AM

    angry bill is confusing police form USA with our police form Canada our guys are better then the USA police . dont do that mate .
  14. Ante posted on 12/03/2013 03:00 PM
    To the Zivcic Family...

    primi moje saučešće
  15. brad posted on 12/04/2013 10:17 AM
    While in court for a school project....I learned that sometimes the police are required to break the law in order to enforce the law. Imagine calling 911 and telling the operator that there is an intruder breaking into your home....the operator asks you, "would you like the police to speed in order to get to your home faster?" what would say??? This is unfortunately a reality. Along the way, people may get hurt or even die. It is very sad that this officer died but he died doing a job that is essential and I hope he died doing what he loved. I agree that a seatbelt should have been worn My condolences to the family.
    1. Karl Burgin posted on 12/05/2013 12:51 PM
      @brad "I learned that sometimes the police are required to break the law in order to enforce the law."

      That's good and all, but this also has to do with safety too. The man isn't robocop. The seat-belt would have prevented him from being tossed through the window.

      Also, when police are speeding to a location, they have those little devices that would change the traffic light, and they have lights and sirens to aid them. So I'm not sure if it would necessarily be qualified as 'breaking the law'.
      Another example to your situation. If the police is racing to the seen, if we use the 'breaking the law scenario", then why not just drive solely in the opposite lane. Why not bull-doze through parks and sidewalks? Of if a car is in the way, just ram through so they can get to where they need to go?
      I'm not putting you down, or harping on your point. But it's just to show that there clearly are limitations to the notion "breaking the law in order to enforce the law."
  16. Rowena Nunn posted on 12/10/2013 08:37 AM
    My condolences to the family and friends of Cst. John Zivcic from Nova Scotia. He gave his life doing what I'm sure he loved doing. He will not be forgotten by those of us that appreciate the service these young men and women offer on a daily basis .....protecting our country and love ones. He gave the ultimate sacrifice ... His life . People please be kind . Keep your rude comments , judgements and spectulations to yourselves . Karma is a wonderful thing. You day.... will be in need of our "heros " help and you will be grateful for it. God bless his family and all first responders . RIP Cst John Zivcic
  17. Trebronus posted on 12/10/2013 12:58 PM
    The trouble is that there is one set of rules for the Toronto cops and one set of rules for the rest of us. The brotherhood feels they are above the law and can do what they want. They are never convicted of any wrongdoing and always suspended WITH pay. The SIU is a joke and Mike McCormack has no credibility.
    It's sad that this cop died, but it's also sad when anyone else dies in a traffic accident. Everyone should have a big funeral and procession paid for by the tax dollar. I am tired of the hypocrisy....
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