An Ottawa family tonight is mourning the loss of a father and praying for the life of a daughter.

51-year-old Troy Tofflemire was killed yesterday in a head-on crash on Highway 17. His daughter is in critical condition.  It happened just before 2 p.m. west of Greenwood Road on Highway 17 near Pembroke.  This is a family tragedy on so many levels; the patriarch of the family dead.  The rest of the family is so focused on the 19 year old daughter now; they can't yet mourn that loss.

The stretch of Highway 17 has seen its share of collisions.  Add to it one more, that destroyed a family on Easter Monday.

“It’s a busy stretch of Highway 17, for sure,” says Dave Libby, a paramedic with the County of Renfrew, “and unfortunately we do see a fair number of motor vehicle collisions.”

51-year-old Troy Tofflemire was a passenger in an eastbound Hyundai SUV being driven by his 19-year-old daughter.  For unknown reasons, the SUV collided head-on with a westbound Chevrolet pickup truck. 

According to paramedics, Tofflemire died at the scene.  His daughter and the other driver, a man in his 30's, were airlifted to hospital in critical condition.

Friends of the family say Troy Tofflemire's  daughter was seriously injured in that collision and that the family has been by her bedside at the Civic campus of the Ottawa Hospital ever since.

“It’s unbelievable, I just can’t believe it,” says neighbor Gilles Meloche, “it’s too close to home.”

Friends and neighbors were trying to come to terms with the loss of a good man who played guitar in his church choir at Grace Presbyterian and who passed along his passion for singing to his daughters.  He posted a video on YouTube 3 years ago, clearly thankful for his family as one of his daughters sang and played the guitar while the other prepared supper for him.    

Tofflemire worked with Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation for 17 years.  In an email, Steve Mennill, the Senior Vice-President of Insurance with CMHC said, “The staff at Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation is saddened to hear of Troy Tofflemire’s sudden passing.  Troy was a valued member of our team and his loss is deeply felt.  Over his 17-year career with CMHC, Troy made many contributions to our mortgage insurance business.   Troy was also a very active member of our recreation club and made key contributions to our team spirit through organizing social events for CMHC employees, and fundraising for local charities.  CMHC has counsellors available for Troy’s friends and colleagues.  On behalf of everyone at CMHC, I wish to extend our deepest condolences to Troy’s family and friends during this very difficult time.”

For now, Tofflemire's wife and other daughter have not only to deal with the unspeakable loss but to find the strength to help the youngest daughter pull through. The crash is still under investigation by the OPP.