Hundreds attend memorial service for RCMP officer
Published Sunday, July 29, 2012 12:54PM EDT
Last Updated Sunday, July 29, 2012 8:15PM EDT
Hundreds of mourners attended a memorial service in Nova Scotia on Sunday to pay their final respects to RCMP Const. Derek Pineo.
The 38-year-old died last week after his police cruiser collided with a moose near the town of Wilkie, Sask., which is about 160 kilometres west of Saskatoon.
The service was held in Fall River N.S., where Pineo grew up and where his parents continue to live.
Mourners who could not fit into the packed church braved a steady rain outside, huddling under black umbrellas. The road leading to the church was lined with emergency responders, including police officers, firefighters and paramedics, who wanted to pay their respects.
“We’re all really one big family and everybody has to lean on one another at times like this,” paramedic Dan O’Neill told CTV Atlantic.
Pineo’s wife and three children flew to Nova Scotia for the service.
Friend Tim MacNeil remembered Pineo as “a happy fellow” who always had a smile on his face.
“You could go into a room, and it would be a dark and dreary room, and that guy would turn it up and make it funny,” MacNeil said.
On Wednesday, hundreds of RCMP officers attended a regimental memorial in Nipawan, Sask., where Pineo was stationed for five years. He was transferred to Wilkie in June.
Pineo joined the force in 2007.
Family friend James Gray said Pineo “always wanted to be a Mountie.
“He was so excited when he got accepted,” Gray said. “His whole family was so proud of him. It was his dream.”
Pineo was remembered as a family man who always put others’ needs ahead of his own.
“He was everything to everybody,” Gray said. “You don’t find many people like him around anymore. It’s just a shame. We’re all going to miss him.”
With a report from CTV Atlantic’s Garreth MacDonald