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News archive for January 28, 2014

On-the-job fatality under investigation

An investigation is underway after a wrangler on contract with the Yukon government died Monday following a round-up of wild horses near Kusawa Lake.

By Christopher Reynolds on January 28, 2014 at 4:27 pm

An investigation is underway after a wrangler on contract with the Yukon government died Monday following a round-up of wild horses near Kusawa Lake.

Arnold Johnson, 57, died in hospital yesterday morning in the wake of an incident Sunday when he was corralling horses just off the Alaska Highway to keep the roads clear, said Energy Mines & Resources spokesperson Ron Billingham.

“It kind of shocked everyone here when we heard it, and we were just floored,” Billingham said.

Richard Mostyn, a spokesman for the Yukon Workers’ Compensation Health and Safety Board, said WCB officers have launched an investigation into the incident.

“Johnson became tangled up with a horse and was seriously injured,” he said in a release this morning.

The man was an employee under livestock control officer Dan Sabo, who held the contract with the EMR’s agriculture branch for the Whitehorse-to-Mendenhall district.

Johnson’s job was to respond to calls of domestic or wild horses on or near roads and move them elsewhere.

“These are feral horses that sometimes find themselves on the highway,” Billingham said.

He expressed his sympathy and condolences to Johnson’s family.

Details of the incident, like the exact location, number of horses involved or type of injury were unavailable.

“We’re in the very early stages of our investigation,” Mostyn said of the WCB inquiry.

Whitehorse General Hospital spokesperson Val Pike said she could not provide details because the incident was under investigation by the coroner’s office.

The coroner could not be reached for comment before today’s deadline.

The territorial government has been providing livestock control along highways for the past 15 years, Billingham said.

The is the first on-the-job fatality since November 2011, when a tire mechanic was killed at the Integra Tire shop.

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