An officer who was injured after his motorcycle struck a goose during a training exercise north of Barrie on Thursday morning has been identified as an experienced member of the highway safety division.
Const. Pete Tucker was taking part in an escort training exercise with about 14 other police officers riding motorcycles on Highway 11 southbound at Highway 400.
The officer, believed to be in his mid-40's, lost control of his bike after he was hit by a flying goose.
"In the 30 years that I've been policing I've never seen where one of our officers was hit by a bird flying in the air," OPP Commissioner Vince Hawkes told CTV Toronto on Thursday afternoon.
The officer's injuries have been described as serious and "life altering."
An ambulance brought the officer to a local hospital, before he was transferred via an Ornge air ambulance to Toronto's Sunnybrook Hospital.
Tucker is stable after undergoing treatment at Sunnybrook, police said. Because he was wearing a vest, jacket and helmet, most of his injuries are to his legs.
"There's going to be a long road for recovery for this officer and his family and everyone involved," Hawkes said.
Parts of both Highway 11 and Highway 400 had been shut down after the collision, but they are now open to traffic.
Hawkes told CTV Toronto that Tucker is a very experienced rider from the Niagara detachment but was visiting OPP headquarters in Orillia for the training session.
Tucker performs normal patrol duties, but is also part of the OPP Golden Helmet Motorcycle Precision Team, meaning he is qualified to take part in promotional activities and escorts of celebrities and high-profile guests of the province.
News of the crash reached Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne while she was speaking at a news conference.
"I just want to say my thoughts are with the officer and I hope that the officer is able to recover completely.