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Woman killed in head-on collision in Economy

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Elsie DeBay was animal control officer with the County of Colchester

UPPER ECONOMY, N.S.

The woman killed in a two-vehicle collision in Upper Economy on Monday was a well-known animal control officer with the Municipality of Colchester.

Elsie DeBay, 53, of Londonderry died at the scene of a crash shortly before 5:30 p.m. on Highway 2 in Upper Economy.

Her husband, Kirk DeBay, 67, was taken by LifeFlight to hospital in Halifax with serious injuries.

Kirk DeBay was driving the couple’s 1932 Ford Terraplane when it collided head on with a pickup truck after swerving into the oncoming lane.

The RCMP would not confirm the identities of the deceased. However, an individual with knowledge of the accident who did not wish to be identified, said he was familiar with both individuals.

He indicated the car swerved to miss a dog that had run towards the road.

“At this point, all I can say is that it was a head-on collision,” said Colchester District RCMP Cpl. Rodney Peterson. He said the accident occurred on a straight stretch of highway near the intersection with Brown Road and that weather conditions were clear.

RCMP media spokesperson Cpl. Dal Hutchinson later said it was his understanding that “a dog was near the scene but not on the road.”

The driver of the pickup truck, a 2013 GMC Sierra, was identified only as a 70-year-old man from Colchester County. He was not injured in the crash.

DeBay, who had worked with the municipality for approximately 14 years, was described by Mayor Christine Blair as a “very, very capable individual and a stellar person and employee.”

A Facebook posting by the Animal Rescue Coalition also described her in glowing terms.

“Elsie's knowledge and compassion for all animals was second to none,” the posting reads. “She worked tirelessly to help out foster dogs, our volunteers, our adopters. As well, the welfare of animals in the entire County of Colchester were paramount…

“She was fair and caring and responded regardless of the hour. This was Elsie. To know her was to understand true dedication. To be with her was a gift.”

The accident remains under investigation.

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