STONY PLAIN — An RCMP officer barely seven months into her career was killed in a traffic accident early Monday.
Const. Chelsey Alice Robinson died shortly after midnight when her vehicle was broadsided by a semi-trailer near a highway west of Edmonton.
Robinson was responding to a report of an impaired driver going the wrong way in the westbound lane of Hwy 16, a major east-west highway, when her marked cruiser was struck by the truck.
“She was taken to hospital, where she died of her injuries,”said Sgt. Tim Taniguchi.
Robinson, 25, was married with no children.
After the collision, the truck veered into the grassy median between the two lanes of the highway and burst into flames. The driver managed to escape and was taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
“The driver of the tractor-trailer was in no way related to the reported impaired driver,” Taniguchi said.
Robinson’s fellow members from the Stony Plain detachment were the ones who responded to the accident.
“It’s a very shocking and very tragic event,” Taniguchi said.
“It’s very sad for the whole police community across Canada. Police work can be very dangerous. We have to be at a constant readiness and have a constant risk assessment while we do our duties, including when we do normal patrols.”
Support workers are available both for those at the accident and for those who knew Robinson, whose name will be added to the wall of honour at RCMP K-Division headquarters for members killed in the line of duty.
Taniguchi said the last two officers who have been added to that wall died in traffic accidents.
Police continue to investigate Robinson’s death, which was also hitting hard in southern Alberta as Robinson was originally from Picture Butte, just north of Lethbridge.
Picture Butte Mayor Terry Kerkhoff said the officer and her family are well known in the community.
“Her dad, Sam West, is our fire chief,” Kerkhoff said. “Her sister works with our emergency services department and her mom is well known as well.