B.C. police officer dies 30 years after car crash put him in unresponsive state - InfoNews

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B.C. police officer dies 30 years after car crash put him in unresponsive state

A police officer Const. Ian Jordan in Victoria has died after spending 30 years in a coma following an on-duty car crash. Jordan was racing to the scene of a break-and-enter when his car collided with another police vehicle early on Sept. 22, 1987. THE CANADIA PRESS/HO-Victoria Police Department MANDATORY CREDIT
April 13, 2018 - 2:43 PM

Victoria police Const. Ian Jordan died in hospital Wednesday after spending 30 years in a mostly unresponsive state caused when his cruiser crashed into another police vehicle racing towards the same call.

Retired Sgt. Ole Jorgensen vividly remembers the crash that severely injured his friend and colleague.

He was responding to a business alarm when Jordan's vehicle crossed the intersection in front of him.

"I had my foot on the brake so hard and in my head I can distinctly remember I was saying, 'Get out of the way Ian.' But it was too late, it was a split second before I hit him that I realized he was there," Jorgensen said.

Victoria Police said the accident resulted in the creation of a "trauma team," which helps officers and staff after traumatic incidents, and also prompted a change in procedures for controlling traffic lights.

A funeral for Jordan with full police honours is being planned.

The officer was 35 at the time of the accident and father to a 16-month-old son.

Hilary Jordan said her husband's death feels like deja vu.

"I feel like I’m back 30 years ago and it was just a new normal, 30 years visiting hospital every day. It's just really part of my life now. So it just feels quite different," she said.

"But I'm happy for Ian that his struggle is over and he'll be at peace."

She said her husband was in a coma for the first few months after the crash, then he opened his eyes, but he didn't communicate and his level of understanding was unknown.

Between the Jordan family and members of the department, she said "Ian, for 30 years, had a visit every day."

She never remarried. Their son, Mark, is now criminal lawyer in Edmonton.

Jorgensen described Ian Jordan as a close friend who loved going on calls with him and his K-9 unit.

Earlier in their shift on Sept. 22, 1987, Jordan had been pushed down a flight of stairs when responding to a call at a nightclub, Jorgensen said, so he was supposed to be heading home.

But Jordan was a keen officer and when reports of a possible break-and-enter came in, Jorgensen said he must have decided to respond to the call instead.

In the three decades that Jordan was in care, Jorgensen said he visited every month. He would fill Jordan in on the goings-on of the police department — who got hired or fired — and update him on his wife and son.

"I would just tell him what was going on in our lives. Just in case. We don't know whether he was hearing us, so, just in case (I was) keeping him up to date," Jorgensen said.

He wasn't alone. Police Chief Del Manak said several Victoria Police officers and staff members have visited Jordan on a regular basis, himself included.

"I found it quite humbling to be in his presence," Manak said.

"Like most police departments, it's a really tight-knit family. It's a group of individuals who are committed to serving their community. This hits home the risks and dangers that our officers and staff face, who work the front lines."

Manak said it's hard to imagine what the family has experienced. Jordan made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty and Manak said the department is consulting his family as it plans a memorial service.

"We want to make sure that there is closure, but that it's done in a way that respects the sacrifice that Ian has made," Manak said.

Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version said the officer was in a coma, when in fact he was in an unresponsive state.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2018
The Canadian Press

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