Yukon North Of Ordinary

News archive for February 27, 2014

Pedestrian dies following accident

A 69-year-old man is dead after being struck by an SUV as he was crossing Fourth Avenue late Wednesday morning.

By Stephanie Waddell on February 27, 2014 at 4:20 pm

A 69-year-old man is dead after being struck by an SUV as he was crossing Fourth Avenue late Wednesday morning.

Whitehorse RCMP Const. Dean Hoogland confirmed the death this morning, stating the investigation involving both the Whitehorse detachment and the Yukon coroner’s office is continuing.

Though the cause of the collision is still being looked at, RCMP have determined the driver of the SUV was sober and he is cooperating with investigators.

Hoogland could not say what direction the vehicle was travelling in, whether the pedestrian was using the crosswalk in the area or if sunlight was an issue, stating all of that is part of the ongoing investigation.

The entire street was closed off following the collision between the entrance to the Tags store and just before the McDonald’s restaurant next to it. Across the street is the large Yukon Inn property.

Charges have not been laid, but Hoogland said if they are they could fall under the territory’s Motor Vehicles Act and/or the Criminal Code of Canada.

“It all depends on the investigation,” he said.

RCMP were called to the scene at 11:20 a.m. yesterday after the pedestrian was hit crossing Fourth Avenue between Second Avenue and Ray Street.

He was taken by ambulance to Whitehorse General Hospital in critical condition and later passed away.

Kirsten Macdonald, the territory’s chief coroner, said this morning the man’s name is being withheld until the extended family outside of the Yukon has been notified. Immediate family in Whitehorse have been informed.

City crews had closed a portion of the north-bound lane in the area of the accident to work on water services, with a northbound lane of Fourth Avenue closed around Ray Street.

Interim city manager Brian Crist said this morning there was no city staff on-site at the time of the collision with crews breaking for lunch just prior to the accident.

The traffic-controlled zone was clearly marked and included a sign to slow to 30 kilometres, Crist said, noting he and other city officials reviewed what the traffic zone included this morning and confirmed it had met with lane closure protocol and required legislation.

“We’ve been working with RCMP,” he said, also noting a staff debriefing had taken place this morning as well.

The city sends out its condolences to family and friends of the deceased, Crist said.

Anyone who witnessed the collision is asked to contact RCMP at 667-5551.

CommentsAdd a comment


Feb 27, 2014 at 5:28 pm

Obviously I do not know what happened BUT time and time again I have seen vehicles run red lights, drive too fast and not watch for pedestrians.

It is time to stop driving like idiots. The police are also to blame because if they spent a small amount of time watching (especially main street) they would see how bad people actually drive.
When you call to report bad drivers nothing is done about it. I think this driver should be charged. It’s time to set an example for bad drivers, especially when you kill someone.

June Jackson

Feb 27, 2014 at 6:09 pm

My condolences to the family.. May this person rest in peace.

While I am sorry this happened, I am not surprised. I am surprised it doesn’t happen more. Whitehorse drivers.. we’re just terrible, thoughtless drivers..weaving in and out of traffic, running stop signs, never singling. Just this morning I watched a red sedan pass on the right in a school zone..

donald donaldson

Feb 27, 2014 at 6:41 pm

You blame the police for this poor man being struck?  Shall they be everywhere at once?  Shall they be on every street corner?  Step up and do your part.  When you see erratic driving then call the police to investigate.  Get the facts first, if you can, before making an opinion.


Feb 27, 2014 at 6:46 pm

Jaywalking sometimes has tragic consequences.  Don’t be so quick to blame the driver.


Feb 27, 2014 at 7:24 pm

To use your own words “anonymous”  - “Obviously I do not know what happened”.

I agree on the one hand about Whitehorse drivers; they drive too fast and I too have seen them routinely running red lights.  That said, why do you think this driver should be charged?

If you know nothing about it then you have no reason to call for a charge and you’re making insuations here that are unfair and unfounded.

charles meyer

Feb 27, 2014 at 7:29 pm

This is a bad accident, that should have never happened. My condolences to the family.
Fourth Ave. is a busy street. Common sense by everybody would have prevented this accident. However those flashing lights by the crossing are no help. They should be like the one on 2nd Ave.
But that probably cost too much for the City so they opted for a cheaper solution and voila we have the result.

Island girl

Feb 27, 2014 at 8:11 pm

Pedestrians are ALWAYS crossing streets where there is no crosswalk & darting across the roads when there is heavy traffic.  I have seen it time & time again, and have myself had to brake suddenly when someone runs across a busy street.  Yes, the drivers have to slow down, but the pedestrians need to take some responsibility too.  It is not a one sided issue.

Josey Wales

Feb 27, 2014 at 9:42 pm

No I do not know what/how/why this happened, nor will I pretend to.
What I do know is a man is now dead as a result, that is a shame and sad.
I won’t even go on about our “local” drivers today, we know how “traffic” is here in town.
What sadly enough really stood out when I read this…is that the driver of the SUV was sober…really?
Must have been from “the” outside?

As you said ...

Feb 28, 2014 at 12:47 am

As you said you know nothing about it so before you lynch the driver please wait until the RCMP have concluded their investigation


Feb 28, 2014 at 11:32 am

Lets not comment about this accident, leave the investigation to the police.

Whse driving habits and the speed people drive at on 2 and 4th though is usually dangerous. And then you have the crowd that still drinks and drives and of course many are very impaired.

What happened over Rendezvous? How many stupid people did the police find without drivers licenses, insurance and how many were impaired?


Feb 28, 2014 at 5:28 pm

Yes, I agree that it is both drivers and pedestrians.  However, I often find myself at “crosswalks” waiting for minutes for vehicles to stop so I could cross. Drivers DO NOT stop at crosswalks and some of them are even talking on their cell phones! They do drive at high speeds.  This is crazy! When they do drive by, they look in the other direction so they don’t have to see a pedestrian waiting to cross! Slow down and let the people walk at crosswalks! I am too surprised this hasn’t happened more often.  Drivers should be keeping an eye out for walkers!


Feb 28, 2014 at 5:30 pm

The traffic along 4th ave moves at a snail pace, there are far too many cross walks and the assumption that pedestrians can just walk out without looking.
Lets make 2nd and 4th avenues 1 way streets and have a circular traffic flow, designate and mark cross walks and not allow pedestrians to cross anywhere and everywhere.
RIP to the deceased but I am amazed there are not more pedestrians and cyclists hit.

June Jackson

Feb 28, 2014 at 6:09 pm

Island Girl:
I hear what you are saying, and agree.. however..  I still don’t think anyone deserved to die because they stepped off the curb at the wrong place.


Feb 28, 2014 at 10:46 pm

A very sad preventable situation. As many have said we do not know the details, so should not pass judgement. I routinely see pedestrians walk to a sidewalk, with or without a crosswalk, stick their arm out & cross without a pause. What happened to looking left, right & left again to check traffic before crossing?
I agree we also have some horrific drivers & situation has become worse in recent months. Last week I was obeying the speed limit when someone roared past me on the blind bend by Fish Lake Rd. I was horrified as many fatal accidents have occurred there before. Had someone been coming in opposite direction, it would have been tragic.
Just this evening I was doing 70 in a 70kph zone and had an impatient tailgater. When I signaled & pulled over into a right turn lane the vehicle sped past me, cut in front, braked hard & turned right ahead of me. How many seconds did these impatient,over limit, acts save them? The classic was on Hamilton Blvd when a car was in wrong lane at Elijah Smith school circle; turned onto McIntyre Drive, did a U turn on the divider, cutting off a vehicle on McIntyre & then pulled onto circle 4 ft from my vehicle. Having learned to drive in European, city & high speed traffic & lived/driven in YT 40+ years I question where these, new wave, impatient folk come from. I do not subscribe to idea of them being native YT drivers with little traffic experience. This is a recent situation that we do not need.
Please don’t assume I am accusing this article’s driver of speeding or the pedestrian as being at fault. Again don’t pass judgement on this accident, but lets encourage cleaning up WH driving & pedestrian behavior.

Max Mack

Mar 1, 2014 at 12:07 am

The city should be re-examining it’s decision to use a cross-walk lighting system that is poorly designed.
Rather than overhead, flashing lights, the city opted for side-profile lighting that can be obstructed from drivers’ view.


Mar 1, 2014 at 9:33 pm

Pedestrians have responsibilities too.
Only cross at designated crosswalks.
Put your arm out, get drivers attention, and make eye contact before proceeding.
If drivers won’t stop take a pic and turn ‘em in.


Mar 2, 2014 at 8:26 pm

My friend got hit it the same spot years ago.  All cars had stopped, she proceeded at the crossing spot and was actually unfortunately waving at a friend in one of the stopped cars when one car decided not to stop and whacked her.  She went flying and ended up on the pavement but got up and did not even call the police or anything.  Luckily she did not have her 2 month old baby with her at the time.

Point being I think more people are getting hit than what we know about.  Sorry that things did not end as well for this man.


Mar 3, 2014 at 6:29 am

Very sad news my thoughts & prayers to both families. The driver will forever have to live with the knowledge that he killed someone. It would be wise for Whitehorse to build overhead crosswalks like they have in Detroit. Problem forever solved.

Attitude check

Mar 3, 2014 at 12:10 pm

The same day as this accident happened and during the increased traffic on 2nd due to this tragic accident, my son was crossing 2nd avenue to get to the bus stop (at a crosswalk I may add).  The lady was already stopped waiting for traffic as my son began to cross. This lady, had the nerve to roll down her window and start swearing at my son telling him to get off the #%*&^$& road and had a little rant. My son had to remind her that he was a pedestrian crossing where he is supposed to be. It’s people like this who’s attitudes often cause accidents. Some people’s behaviors really are unacceptable, disgusting and shameful. Even more so that they are totally oblivious to it! 
Sincere condolences to this man’s family.


Mar 3, 2014 at 12:34 pm

Max Mack: Nail on head

This is poor traffic control. Asked the City about it:
“It’s good enough for down south it’s good enough for here.”
Left a complaint with the COW and told them that they should look at changing the crosswalk to an overhead style (much like Oglivie). The A&W one is the same way.

The sun blinds the intersection making it difficult to see if the lights are flashing. Also the COW has had to replace the batteries in this set of lights 3 times to my knowledge. Turns out they aren’t made for -40.

The COW needs to take some responsibility.

On a side note: Found out that the COW operates with sub committees. Entire entities that make decisions without having to check with Mayor or Council and no public input required.
Each department has these committees (from my understanding).
Bye bye accountability.


Mar 3, 2014 at 3:29 pm

overhead crosswalks?  Get serious, this isn’t Detroit.
Pedestrians and drivers need to be more attentive.


Mar 3, 2014 at 4:02 pm

Many streets in Whitehorse are very dangerous to cross.

When you think about it, its not the street but the drivers who usually contribute most to the safety issue. And yes, that may not be the case in this tragic accident!

I think the City of Whitehorse should step up to the plate with an enforcement and safety campaign. Also, it would be helpful for the city and tourism operators to warn visitors to our City because they may not be aware that a small city can have such an extreme safety concern.

The only places I can compare Whitehorse to are large cities in South America or China where pedestrians are afforded little protection due to extremely poor driving habits.

Lets deal with this problem Mr. Curtis.

Francis Pillman

Mar 3, 2014 at 4:11 pm

Sorry piper but you are so very wrong. Magical lights will never solve the problem of stupid drivers. Why do people believe the more safety devices put in automatically mean everyone is safer all of a sudden. It starts with the DMV. And ends with the driver. Period.


Mar 3, 2014 at 5:04 pm

Yes, an elder from our town was hit crossing 4th to Tags so this happens a lot.  I too am petrified in crossing even when I use the crosswalk.  There are respectful drivers and there are not so respectful drivers.  Where are you rushing to?  Drive with due care and attention why don’t you. We have a 2 lane-the 1st driver come to a stop.  The one behind is one who usually rushes and pulls out to pass.  This is where accidents happen.  Don’t know what might correct this.  People are still using their cell phones.  I see it all the time.


Mar 3, 2014 at 7:44 pm

In Toronto the pedestrian lights tell you how much time you have left to cross. I thought that was cool.


Mar 4, 2014 at 2:33 pm

@ north of 60, they work in Detroit & everywhere they have them. What’s your suggestion drivers & pedestrians need to be more aware?  Hmmm, ya right, that’s the answer. Get serious @ Francis? No mention of lights in my statement.


Mar 4, 2014 at 5:42 pm

Francis Pillman wake up I said nothing about lights. Give your head a shake.

Just Say'in

Mar 4, 2014 at 10:30 pm

A couple of problems I see.  When crossing in a cross walk you should make eye contact before stepping out, wait for them to stop or wait till it is clear, it doesn’t matter if you have the right of way it is your life look after it.
Sometimes when a vehicle on the road is turning as well as stopping for a pedestrian the other vehicle coming by does not realize there is a pedestrian in front of that car because they think he is just signalling to turn. Person crossing should look around the first car and be sure next one will stop again it is your life look after it.
Another thing there is no point your hand and walk thing here. There was for about six months in the 80’s and they stopped it because pedestrians thought it was a force field, and just walked out without looking. It’s your life look after it.


Mar 5, 2014 at 11:42 am

Shenya- AGREED!
Where are these drivers going in such a rush?! I can’t count the number of times I’ve been passed on Mountain View when I’m going the speed limit.

Of course for this incident they do not say what exactly the cause was but I hope this shows all of us drivers out there to be attentive when driving.
To the elder who passed away from this unfortunate event- rest in paradise.

Sally Wright

Mar 5, 2014 at 6:46 pm

I cross 4th avenue by the Cinema over to Extra Foods regularly. This is a school zone and it is quite disturbing how many people speed through, are talking on their phones or just oblivious about what is going on around them.
I always try to catch the driver’s eye before I venture out on the roads in Whitehorse. This poor victim in front of Tags is actually no surprise to me. Drivers in Whitehorse have always been poor, now with the huge influx of more people, the almost obsessive pre-occupation with their phones have turned Whitehorse traffic into a real hazard to pedestrians.
All I can say is, you take your life into your hands if you walk in downtown Whitehorse. Not a great thing when you are trying to brand yourself a Wilderness City, as opposed to an Asphalt Jungle.

Paulette Tremblay

Mar 8, 2014 at 12:44 pm

I am very sad for this man who passed away here. He was loved and all of us at my work and those that pop in all the time are grieving for him. He was such a very happy man and he always made us feel uplifted. He was also a very helpful man. He’d shovel sidewalks with some of his family. I know it best that we should all wait for the RCMP investigation in this matter but having known this man I wonder if the lights, because of the way they flash could have triggered a seizure. Many of us knew his truck was being repaired. Had it not been, he might be alive today. But alas, I pray for the person who must endure this very sad situation and the family of this nice man. Rest in Peace “little Bill” as we knew you.


Mar 9, 2014 at 4:57 pm

It’s not surprising that cell-phone use has resulted in far more inattentive driving.  Cell-phone addicts are not the sharpest pencils in the box to begin with, now it’s worse.  Cell phone abuse should be more diligently enforced, it’s far more hazardous than failing to wear a seat belt.

Let’s see how many cell phone addicts will identify themselves with a thumbs down.

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