PC Pickell’s was a probationary officer and had only served for three months when his career was cut short in an on duty motorcycle accident that claimed his life.

Much of his on-duty time was spent patrolling Lakeshore Boulevard and the Queen Elizabeth Way. On July 2, 1940, the officer, while traveling on the Queen Elizabeth Way, observed a speeder on Shook’s Hill, west of the Clarkson Road.

PC Pickell turned at once and attempted to swing his machine to give chase to the offender. Witness accounts are that the machine turned upside down, the officer was thrown forward and hit the pavement with great force.

Donald L. Pickell was then transported to St. Joseph’s Hospital and given prompt medical attention. The officer had a severely fractured skull and succumbed to his injuries, never regaining consciousness.

PC Pickell had been the eighth officer to die in an on-duty motorcycle accident since patrolling by motorcycle had been introduced by the OPP on provincial highways. Motorcycling patrol ceased to exist as a separate unit of the OPP in 1941 and during that year fifty-five black and white Chevrolet Coupes came into service for highway patrol.