Parents watch as bridge named for fallen OPP officer
More than eight years after his death, an eastern Ontario couple got to see a bridge named after their son Monday as they still try to come to terms with his passing.
On May 23, 2004, Tyler Boutilier was on his way to a call on Highway 15 near Kingston.
The 32-year-old OPP constable with four years experience was killed when another driver hit his cruiser head-on.
Monday, a bridge on Highway 401 near Prescott was renamed in his honour with his parents in attendance.
"Even just thinking about him, it still makes your heart ache," said his mother Sharon Boutilier, speaking about Tyler's death for the first time.
"It's just like a part of you has died," said his father Lew Boutilier. "There's one person who was a part of our life that's not with us anymore."
When Tyler graduated at the top of his class, he was given his badge by his older sister.
"Tyler would be embarrassed by all this attention," said OPP Insp. Kari Dart. "He would, however, understand the importance of all of it."
Now, Tyler's sacrifice is being recognized by the naming of the overpass near the detachment where he once worked, where millions of people will drive by.
"I want them to remember that an officer who once patrolled these highways and roadways gave the ultimate sacrifice," said Cst. Rick Foley, Tyler's former partner.
His family said they just hope people think about the man behind the sign.
"I just hope they take a few moments to ponder it and think about that person," Lew said. "It's not just a name in the sign, there's a person behind it."
"These are fathers, these are sons, these are husbands that these names are associated with," said Sharon. "They are not just a uniform."
With a report from CTV Ottawa's Catherine Lathem