Bridge dedicated to Cst. Craig Campbell

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News

By Josh Howald

Yesterday, more than 30 years after he paid the ultimate sacrifice, Cst. Craig Campbell was honoured by the Ontario Provincial Police.

Campbell was killed in the line of duty on Aug. 3, 1985. Campbell, who was only 24, had been with the police force a little more than one year. He left behind his wife, Leslie.

He was one of three people killed in a horrific car crash in the early hours of an August Saturday night in 1985. His partner Cst. William O'Sullivan, who was driving the police cruiser, was seriously injured in the crash. Two teenage girls that were passengers in the other vehicle were also killed, while a 12-year-old girl escaped with minor injuries and the driver, a 20-year-old man from Brussels, with serious injuries.

A Wingham area OPP officer had tried to stop the vehicle, driven by the Brussels man. The officer called ahead for help, and two cars from the Kincardine detachment of the OPP responded. One of the cruisers met the car heading east on Highway 9 and radioed back to the other Kincardine car, driven by O'Sullivan. The O'Sullivan and Campbell car was making a u-turn when the pursued vehicle smashed into the OPP cruiser and burst into flames. O'Sullivan suffered pelvic and spinal injuries and Campbell was killed.

The driver, who was drunk at the time of the crash, was charged following an investigation, and eventually sentenced to 30 months in prison and slapped with a lifetime ban of driving.

When the 30-year anniversary of the crash came last summer, South-Bruce OPP Detachment Commander Dana Earley made the request under the Highway Memorials For Fallen Police Officers Act. The request was unanimously endorsed by Municipal Council in September, and official ceremonies took place yesterday (Tuesday).

The Highway 21 bridge that crosses the Penetangore River north of Kincardine Ave. was officially dedicated in Campbell's memory yesterday afternoon. Signs will be erected indicating that fact, paid for by the Ministry of Transportation.

OPP Police Commissioner J.V.N. (Vince) Hawkes was scheduled to be at the ceremony and make the dedication at the Best Western Governor's Inn.