Walter Craveiro, who immigrated to Canada from Portugal as a teen, served in the army before working for the Saanich Police Department for 29 years. (Photo provided by Nico Craveiro)

Walter Craveiro, who immigrated to Canada from Portugal as a teen, served in the army before working for the Saanich Police Department for 29 years. (Photo provided by Nico Craveiro)

Vancouver Island police sergeant who survived ’80s car bomb explosion dies at 74

Walter Craveiro remembered as ‘remarkable man,’ who was always helping others

A retired Saanich police sergeant who survived a 1982 bombing following a high-speed car chase, has died at the age of 74.

Walter Manuel De Sousa Craveiro died of a cardiac arrest on Jan. 5 at Victoria General Hospital. He’d been in the hospital after taking a fall at home, explained his son, Nico Craveiro. On Tuesday, he was preparing to pick up Craveiro, who lived in his garden suite, when a doctor called to say his father had passed away.

Craveiro was known as a “remarkable man” with a big heart who “would give the shirt off his back” to anyone in need, Nico said. He added that Craveiro always opened his home, heart and wallet to others without a thought.

Nico said his father never really spoke about the explosion and said he only knew details he’d heard from others.

RELATED: Teen hailed as ‘hero’ in Parksville says she was just doing what anyone should do

RELATED: Mother hailed as hero in Lake Cowichan cougar attack

According to a report by United Press International, in March 1982, a 35-year-old Craveiro and three other officers were pursuing Leonard Roy Emerick, 20, in a high-speed chase after he made threats against the Saanich Police Department.

After crashing through police roadblocks, Emerick drove into a ditch. Craveiro was approaching the vehicle when Emerick set off a bomb inside his car. The explosion killed Emerick, destroyed his car, blew out windows in nearby homes, sent shrapnel flying and seriously injured Craveiro. Police searched the area and found more bombs in Emerick’s home.

Nico emphasized that his father “got the brunt of the explosion.” Craveiro lost an eye and his sense of smell and taste, among other injuries, but because of his sacrifice, everyone was alright, his son said.

After the incident, Craveiro suffered from PTSD along with other health complications including chronic back pain. He even had a leftover shard of glass shrapnel removed from his face some 25 years later, Nico said.

“That accident changed his life health-wise,” Nico explained. Craveiro was self-conscious about his injuries and private about the trauma, but coped by focusing on work and “devoted himself to helping people.” He retired from the Saanich Police Department in 2004 after serving for 29 years – 22 years after the explosion.

Craveiro came to the Island from Portugal with his father as a teen, and the rest of the family – including his three siblings – arrived a year later, Nico explained. After serving in the Canadian Scottish Regiment, Craveiro joined the Saanich police in 1975.

“He loved his job” and dedicated a lot of his time to the profession, Nico said.

Craveiro was also very involved in local soccer. He played before his accident and then turned to coaching and “trying to give back.”

With the help of five others, Craveiro created a local soccer team for young people from Portugal to play and later worked as vice-president of the Vancouver Island Soccer League and had a U-21 league trophy named after him, said Nico, who played for the Vancouver Whitecaps and was assistant coach for the University of Victoria men’s soccer team.

Craveiro survived many injuries and helped so many people. Since his passing, kind messages and stories have been pouring in from the people whose lives he touched, Nico said.

“If I did half the things he did for people, I’d be a satisfied person,” he said. “It’s hard to believe that a man with such a big heart, didn’t have a heart that could handle his ailments.”

Craveiro is survived by his four sons – Carlos and his partner Cathy; David and his partner Cliff; Jason and his partner Sarah; Nico and his partner Jillian – and his grandchildren Mateo, Tobias, Luca, Alessia and Mia. The family plans to hold a private service followed by a celebration of life once restrictions on gatherings are rescinded.

For more news from Vancouver Island and beyond delivered daily into your inbox, please click here.


@devonscarlett
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

ObituarySaanich Police Department

 

Walter Craveiro (right), who worked for the Saanich Police Department for 29 years, retired in 2004. (Photo provided by Nico Craveiro)

Walter Craveiro (right), who worked for the Saanich Police Department for 29 years, retired in 2004. (Photo provided by Nico Craveiro)

Walter Craveiro enjoyed playing soccer and began coaching after surviving the 1982 explosion. (Photo provided by Nico Craveiro)

Walter Craveiro enjoyed playing soccer and began coaching after surviving the 1982 explosion. (Photo provided by Nico Craveiro)

Walter Craveiro, who immigrated to Canada from Portugal as a teen and worked for the Saanich Police Department for 29 years, died at the age of 74 on Jan. 5. (Photo provided by Nico Craveiro)

Walter Craveiro, who immigrated to Canada from Portugal as a teen and worked for the Saanich Police Department for 29 years, died at the age of 74 on Jan. 5. (Photo provided by Nico Craveiro)

Just Posted

Royston resident and photographer Tanja Kerr took a quick video of two eagles taking a quick dip in the water earlier this week. Video still/Tanja Kerr
Video: Doing some eagle watching in Royston

Photographer Tanja Kerr ensures her camera is always nearby

'I swear that dog is being good,' says photo submitter Karen Jackson.
Vancouver Island looking for a few good caring canine companions

ElderDog’s goal to expand program of assisting older adults in the care and well-being of their dogs

Paige Karczynski is the new executive director of Nanaimo Community Hospice Society. (Photo submitted)
Providing hospice in a time of pandemic

Vancouver Island hospices forced to adapt during a time when grief counselling greatly needed

Kimberly Proctor, 18, was murdered in 2010. Her family has spent many of the years since pushing for a law in her honour, that they say would help to prevent similar tragedies. (Courtesy of Jo-Anne Landolt)
Proposed law honouring murdered B.C. teen at a standstill, lacks government support

Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions has concerns with involuntary detainment portion of act

BC Coroners Service is currently investigating a death at Canoe Cove Marina and Boatyard in North Saanich. (Black Press Media File)
Drowning death in North Saanich likely B.C.’s first in for 2021

Investigation into suspected drowning Monday night continues

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders sits in on a COVID-19 briefing with Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, and Adrian Dix, B.C. minister of health. (Birinder Narang/Twitter)
PHOTOS: Bernie Sanders visits B.C. landmarks through the magic of photo editing

Residents jump on viral trend of photoshopping U.S. senator into images

A long-term care worker receives the Pfizer vaccine at a clinic in Nanaimo earlier this month. (Island Health photo)
All Island seniors in long-term care will be vaccinated by the end of this weekend

Immunization of high-risk population will continue over the next two months

Actions of Vancouver Island RCMP emergency response team members prevented a potential head-on collision accident on the Trans-Canada Highway on Jan. 19, says Nanaimo RCMP. (News Bulletin file)
Eight cars evade vehicle driving on wrong side of highway, says Nanaimo RCMP

Incident occurred near Trans-Canada Highway-Morden Road intersection earlier this week

A COVID-19 exposure has been reported at Shawnigan Lake School. (Citizen file photo)
Island Health reports COVID-19 exposure at Shawnigan Lake School

Shawnigan Lake School has been added to the list of schools in… Continue reading

Comox Valley RCMP are looking for witnesses after the theft of a generator worth thousands of dollars. Photo supplied
RCMP asking Vancouver Island residents to watch for stolen generator

Vehicle may have been travelling on Highway 19

Nanaimo Regional General Hospital. (News Bulletin file photo)
COVID-19 outbreak declared at Nanaimo hospital

Two staff members and one patient have tested positive, all on the same floor

A 75-year-old aircraft has been languishing in a parking lot on the campus of the University of the Fraser Valley, but will soon be moved to the B.C. Aviation Museum. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Vintage military aircraft moving from Chilliwack to new home at B.C. Aviation Museum

The challenging move to Vancouver Island will be documented by Discovery Channel film crews

FILE - In this Feb. 14, 2017, file photo, Oklahoma State Rep. Justin Humphrey prepares to speak at the State Capitol in Oklahoma City. A mythical, ape-like creature that has captured the imagination of adventurers for decades has now become the target of Rep. Justin Humphrey. Humphrey, a Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season, He says issuing a state hunting license and tag could help boost tourism. (Steve Gooch/The Oklahoman via AP, File)
Oklahoma lawmaker proposes ‘Bigfoot’ hunting season

A Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season

Economic Development and Official Languages Minister Melanie Joly responds to a question in the House of Commons Monday November 23, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Federal minister touts need for new B.C. economic development agency

Last December’s federal economic update promised a stimulus package of about $100 billion this year

Most Read