Police escorted a memorial motorcade procession for late Canadian Armed Forces Capt. Kevin Hagen from the Victoria International Airport to a Saanich funeral home on Saturday (June 27).
Hagen, originally from Nanaimo, was one of six Canadian military personnel killed when a CH-148 Cyclone helicopter crashed off the coast of Greece during a NATO training mission on April 29.
According to a previous statement from the Armed Forces, Hagen’s remains were recovered during a search and recovery operation conducted by the Canadian Armed Forces and the U.S. Navy between May 25 and June 2.
Hagen’s body was returned to Vancouver Island on Saturday afternoon and transported to the McCall Gardens Funeral and Cremation Service on Falaise Drive. A police-escorted motorcade procession accompanied the Hagen family to the funeral home.
The procession, including various military and civilian dignitaries, left the airport around 1:30 p.m. Willingdon Road was closed for a short time as the motorcade passed through the area and onto the Pat Bay highway.
“We appreciate the outstanding support of our communities for the families of our fallen,” said the Armed Forces in a statement earlier in the week.
Those wishing to pay their respects were asked to adhere to COVID-19 safety restrictions and traffic rules.
“While the Canadian Armed Forces understands and recognizes Canadians’ grief and the need to mourn at this difficult time, we ask it is done so in a way that protects the health and safety of everyone.”
The family was not available for comment as the Armed Forces requested that “the public and the media respect their privacy.”
Armed forced members Sub-Lt. Abbigail Cowbrough, Capt. Brenden MacDonald, Sub-Lt. Matthew Pyke and Master Cpl. Matthew Cousins were also killed in the helicopter crash.