Const. Adrian Oliver died at about 5 a.m. Tuesday after a collision involving his unmarked police cruiser and a transport truck at a Surrey intersection.
Oliver, 28, was pulled from the tangled wreckage and rushed to hospital but could not be saved.
The officer's father and brother are also members of the RCMP.
RCMP media relations officer Sgt. Peter Thiessen said he didn't know the officer, but heard good things.
"He was young and he had his whole career ahead of him. Three years of service, it's not a lot of service, but certainly at three-years service, members like him are looked up to by other, more junior members, to lead the way. He was a leader even with three years service, I do know that."
Thiessen said Oliver was nearing the end of his 12-hour shift. He worked general duty in the North Surrey and Whalley area.
Oliver began his training as a cadet with the RCMP in December 2008 and his first posting as a constable began on June 1, 2009.
He served in the Surrey detachment until he died.
RCMP Deputy Commissioner Craig Callens, the commanding officer of the Mounties in British Columbia, expressed his condolences to Oliver's mother, father and two brothers, along with his friends and colleagues.
Callens said he spoke with Oliver's father, an RCMP member in Ottawa, early Tuesday and that the family was preparing to travel to B.C.
"Clearly, it is a tragic day for the Oliver family and for the entire RCMP," Callens told a news conference.
Oliver's brother is an RCMP member in British Columbia, he said.
"He showcased all the skills, dedication and commitment we ask for in our members," Callens said.
Chief Supt. Bill Fordy, who is in charge of the Surrey RCMP, said emergency responders tried to get Oliver out of his cruiser and provide medical assistance but the Mountie had already died.
"He was an outstanding police officer with a great attitude and commitment to serve others," Fordy said.
"All RCMP members and employees will be impacted by this loss and we are ensuring that proper support is available to them."
Darryl Walker, the operations manager of recycling company Emterra Environmental, located near the intersection of the crash site, said it was clear from the tangled wreck of the grey police cruiser he saw that the officer would not have survived.
"The engine was sticking right out," he said. "It was a mess."
About a dozen Mounties were gathered at the scene when he arrived at work, Walker said.
"They were everywhere, in every direction."
At least eight blocks were closed in one direction and four in another, snarling rush-hour traffic in the industrial area, Walker said.
Trucks that transport recycled material remained idle for part of the morning as staff dealt with the tragedy so close to their workplace.
"Everyone is upset to hear a member of the RCMP has died in this way. They have a hard enough job as it is."
Public Safety Minister Vic Toews said many people will be affected by Oliver's death.
"On behalf of the government of Canada, I would like to extend my heartfelt condolences to the family, colleagues and friends of Const. Oliver, who lost his life today while on duty," Toews said in a statement.
"This is a very sad day for all Canadians."
B.C. Justice Minister Shirley Bond joined police departments across the country in extending condolences to Oliver's family and colleagues.
"I was very sorry to learn of Const. Oliver's tragic death," she said. "We know the loss of any officer is a tragedy and our community is diminished today because of it."
The big rig was not hauling a trailer at the time, and police say the driver was not injured.
The Vancouver Police Department is providing oversight in the investigation into the crash.
The last Mountie to die in line of duty in Surrey was Const. John Baldwinson, who also died in a crash in October 1975.
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