Orillia bridge dedicated to OPP officer killed in line of duty in 1958

A bridge located on Highway 11 in Orillia was officially dedicated on Tuesday to honour an OPP constable killed in the line of duty six decades ago.

“Provincial Constable Willis J. Jacob lost his life in the line of duty nearly 61 years ago,” Thomas Carrique, the OPP’s commissioner, said in a statement.

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“With this bridge dedication, we recognize the service of this dedicated officer who made the ultimate sacrifice in the pursuit of protecting our families and loved ones.”

Const. Jacob was killed on Oct. 3, 1958, while he was on patrol on Highway 11.

A vehicle travelling south on the divided portion of the highway lost control, hit a road sign and then slid toward the undivided portion of the street, OPP say.

According to police, the vehicle didn’t have its lights on as it crossed into the northbound lane. It missed two cars before hitting the OPP cruiser head-on.

Both drivers were killed instantly.

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“Constable Willis Jacob proudly served the people of Ontario and ultimately sacrificed his life while protecting his community,” Solicitor General Sylvia Jones said in a statement.

Since 2002, Ontario has allowed bridges and other highway structures to be dedicated in memory of fallen police officers. There are now 61 bridges dedicated to fallen OPP officers in the province.

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