OPP officer from Tecumseh mourned by hockey community
Members of the Belle River hockey community say they are in ‘complete disbelief’ over the death of OPP officer with ties to the region.
Det. Const. Steven Tourangeau, who died near Woodstock, Ont., on Monday after being involved in an on-duty accident, was originally from Tecumseh.Flags are at half staff at the OPP detachment in Belle River, the hometown of Const. Steve Tourangeau who died on May 29, 2023 in an accident near Woodstock. (Michelle Maluske/CTV Windsor)
“It's heartbreaking that we lose such a such a good person,” childhood friend Evan Carrick told CTV News Tuesday. “He had honesty, integrity. He had loyalty.”
Tourangeau’s cruiser collided with an empty school bus on Oxford Road 22 and Highway 59 Monday morning.OPP officers salute as the body of Det. Const. Steven Tourangeau is removed from the scene of a crash in Oxford County on May 29, 2023. (CTV News)
According to police, the bus driver also died as a result of the accident.
Carrick says he was “stunned” when he heard the news.
“He (Const. Tourangeau) comes from such a good-hearted family and he was such a good hearted person. And those are the type of police officers that we cherish. And that's why this is so tough,” said Carrick, who met Tourangeau when he was a young boy.
“His mom and my mom worked at Stevenson transport so they were bus drivers together. So growing up, my mom and his mom became friends and kind of pushed us into hanging out together.”
Carrick describes Tourangeau as “genuine” even when he was a young boy.
“Those people are so rare and they're so cherished,” he said.
When they were teenagers, Carrick and Tourangeau played on the same team with the Belle River Canadiens Junior ‘C’ hockey team in the early 2000’s.Belle River Canadiens Junior C Hockey 2007-08. (Source: Submitted to CTV News)
“(It) didn't matter how much ice time he got or (who) scored the goals. It was all about just winning together as a family and a team,” said Carrick. “He kind of exemplified just what it was to be a teammate and to be a good person.”
“Steve was an outstanding teammate and one of the most coachable players I have coached,” head coach George Winter told CTV News in a written statement. “Everyone of his teammates loved him which is the greatest compliment you could receive. He will be greatly missed. Steve has touched and impacted many lives.”
As adults, Carrick said he then had the “honour” to work with Tourangeau as an auxiliary officer with the Windsor Police Service.
“He was built to be a police officer. He was exactly what the community wanted out of a police officer,” said Carrick, who said his friend always had patience when working in any situation with any resident.
Carrick would eventually become a financial advisor when Tourangeau was hired by the OPP.
Tourangeau was 35 years old and he leaves behind a wife and three young boys.
‘Steve was the best of us' Team pays tribute to Tourangeau
I couldn’t be prouder to be a part of this group. It truly was a family. Families come together in times like these just as we did a few years ago. Steve was a big part of our family and one of the easiest players to coach and an amazing teammate which is the highest compliment of all. - George Winter (Head Coach)
We all come from different walks of life and have lead down different paths since we took of the jersey for the last time. But looking back, we played the game because we loved it and we loved each other. Being a part of that team set us up to be men. It readied us for life. We grew up together. It taught us Character. Responsibility. Loyalty. Integrity. And I think we all can agree Steve was the best of us. He exemplified each one of those attributes to the fullest in his personal and professional life. And we are all better men for knowing him. -David Ienna (Team Captain) #26
Love and miss all you guys. Guys like that do not get forgotten. He will always be in our hearts. - John Strong #16
There's not enough nice things that can be said about Steve. He came from an incredible family that's hurting more then we can imagine. I couldn't have asked for a better friend! So many incredible memories. He truly was an amazing husband and father. He meant the world to those boys. - Erik Winter #22
Steve was a great person (and) team mate and even though I didn’t know him as a father (or) husband I am sure he was even better at that. I always admired him as a person. He was a leader on and off the ice and he will be missed by way to many. Situations like these make you reflect on what’s important in life and how precious life is. Hug the ones you love and let them know you care about them! - Beau Dubois #24
Steve was an amazing teammate. In hockey terms, he was a beauty! He was kind, hardworking, and very easy to talk to, all while being a warrior on the ice. He did everything he was asked of by our coaches. Most of us knew him as a teammate and not as much as a father and husband after we all went our own ways. But you can tell by the pictures from his wedding, pictures with his wife and children, and the comments from the OPP colleague’s, he continued to be that amazing person. He had an awesome laugh. I miss him. Our team will always be there for him and his family. -Troy Sajatovich #17
Family of Det. Const. Steven Tourangeau. (Source: GoFundMe.com)
A GoFundMe page has been set up for the family.
Det. Const. Steven Tourangeau is from Tecumseh, not Lakeshore as indicated in a previous version of this article.
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