Whitehorse Daily Star

Collision claims two lives

Two people were killed in an Alaska Highway collision last Sunday afternoon near the Lewes River Bridge in the Marsh Lake area.

By Whitehorse Star on July 7, 2020

Two people were killed in an Alaska Highway collision last Sunday afternoon near the Lewes River Bridge in the Marsh Lake area.

The collision, which occurred at about 3:40 p.m., involved two cars and a motorcycle, the RCMP and the Yukon Coroner’s Service said Monday afternoon.

Preliminary investigation suggests that an east-bound vehicle attempted to overtake the other vehicle heading in the same direction.

The two vehicles made contact. It appeared that both vehicles lost control and the overtaking vehicle swerved across the westbound lane, colliding with an oncoming motorcycle.

The motorcycle driver and a passenger in the rear seat of the automobile died at the scene.

The motorcyclist was 43-year-old Travis Richard Adams of Whitehorse.

Nicole Sanderson, 47, of Winnipeg, had been in the rear passenger seat of the car.

Autopsies will be held at British Columbia’s Abbotsford Regional Hospital on Thursday.

The driver and second adult passenger of the car were transported by ambulance to the hospital with serious but non-life-threatening injuries.

The highway was closed to traffic in both directions from about 4 p.m. Sunday to just before midnight.

The coroner’s service is continuing its investigation with the assistance of the Whitehorse RCMP. The service extended its condolences to the two bereaved families and the friends of the victims.

Comments (18)

Up 31 Down 7

Mr M on Jul 11, 2020 at 9:22 am

Sincere condolences to the family and friends of Travis. A great guy and a great family that has helped and supported our community for many many years. RIP Travis.

Up 16 Down 13

@sheepchaser you're kind of right on Jul 10, 2020 at 6:43 pm

If you're causing a deliberate obstruction on the roadway, then no, you aren't following the rules of the road. Yes bicycles can be on the roadway, however, the expectation is that you're able to adhere to the rules of it. Driving at 30km/h an hour in a 100km/h zone on a clear day would be considered dangerous driving.

Failing to stay in your lane and wandering about from the left side of the white line onto the right side of the white line would be considered careless driving.

Also, all users of the roadway are expected to have registration and insurance.
So, no, you're not the same as a motor vehicle, and you don't get to pick which rules do and don't apply to you. If you'd like to act like a car, then meet the expectations. If you'd like to act like a bicycle (which is way more in your favour than acting like a car), do so.

My condolences to everyone involved. I hope you can get the topic back on track of dealing with the death of true pillar in the community versus some selfish rants about bicycles.

Up 61 Down 5

No Excuse on Jul 10, 2020 at 3:37 pm

To Mitch, the lines on the highway are absolutely clear and visible where the driver decided to pass despite a double line. Not only a double line, also a cinch point where there is a very steep drop and guardrail on one side, and a hill coming right down to the highway on the other side with steep drops on either side of the hill. Add to that, it's on a blind curve.

This was outrageously reckless driving by a person who didn't want to hit the brakes, instead decided to roll the dice. And killed my friend, and his passenger. I won't get over this. I am very angry and feel an enormous sense of loss. If there were any chance whatsoever for Travis to get out of the way, he would have. He was an excellent motorcycle driver to put it mildly. What I have to say about the other driver is not publishable.

Up 8 Down 37

Poliico on Jul 9, 2020 at 2:57 pm

@Yukoner If you want to hear sanctimonious listen to car drivers justify breaking the law. The difference is if a bike breaks the law car drivers are inconvenienced but seldom does anyone die. However, when a car driver is stupid there are broken bodies and death!

Up 76 Down 7

mITCH on Jul 9, 2020 at 1:27 pm

I do not understand all this ranting about bicycles and improper painting of lines on the highway. The story said it was a motorcycle. The cause of this accident is that someone tried to pass another vehicle without proper care and attention. If you are going to pass another vehicle on the road, it is up to the driver to ensure it is safe to do so. You must have a clear view of the up coming road and you must ensure there is no oncoming traffic. The poor soul driving the motorcycle was not at fault nor the person driving the other car.

Also, if there are no clear lines on the road for a passing lane, the drive must still ensure they can pass safely. If you can not see what is ahead, do not pass. There is nothing in this world worth risking lives that you can not wait for.

Up 46 Down 14

Yukoner on Jul 9, 2020 at 8:35 am

@ Sheepchaser: you are correct, bicycles are considered vehicles under the law. Problem is that the majority of cyclists do not abide by that law. They do whatever is convenient for them. On the highway that would be not riding single file (against the law), in town that is not dismounting when they use the cross walk (yes, crosswalk means you have to walk), running stop signs and red lights. They bike on sidewalks and against the traffic.

Now, before you get back to me, I know that a lot of (vehicle) drivers are running signs and lights etc. too (we do need traffic cops), but they are not sanctimonious like the cyclists who flip flop on "what they are" by the minute and are blatant about it.

Up 37 Down 8

Honnorjustice on Jul 8, 2020 at 6:47 pm

This a tragic loss and senseless because it was driver error. The highways in the Yukon need to be upgraded especially since our population is growing and more people are living outside of Whitehorse. There are numerous issues on the stretch from Whitehorse to Marsh Lake. Bridges need to be replaced throughout Yukon. The responsibility though is with the driver as they are to drive according to the road conditions. In the winter there aren't any lines so the rules of the road indicate that you don't pass when you can't safely do so. My condolences to the families, friends, and co-workers. (((Hugs)))

Up 52 Down 7

Tanya on Jul 8, 2020 at 1:11 pm

This is such a tragic senseless loss for all. Sincerest condolences to both families.

Travis will be more than just missed. He was one of the most giving members of our community. My heart is broken for his family and for all those who had the pleasure of knowing him.
This is so hard to understand and even harder to believe.
May he forever Rest In Peace.
Heaven surely gained an angel.

Up 12 Down 79

Sheepchaser on Jul 8, 2020 at 6:25 am

Reply to “ justsayin' on Jul 7, 2020 at 3:03 pm”

Quick fact check: Bicycles are vehicles under the law. They *have every right to be on the roadway.* please look it up. There’s nothing to enforce in that photo expect the drivers making illegal passes of the cyclists against double yellows. It’s road users that don’t know the law and/or don’t respect it that cause collisions. Neither is acceptable. Very pot and kettle here. Yet more ‘truthiness’ without factual basis.

Up 46 Down 24

Max Mack on Jul 8, 2020 at 1:21 am

Condolences to the families of Mr. Adam and Ms. Sanderson.

Note that the accident did NOT occur at the Blue Bridge, and the photo in the story is a stock photo. The actual accident location was further west towards Whitehorse.

For those raging against the driver of the car that swerved into the oncoming lane . . . I understand your anger, but you don't know the full story. Our gut reaction to this horrific event may be completely wrong. Wait for the facts to come out.

Up 43 Down 9

Dave on Jul 7, 2020 at 10:20 pm

Nikki, words are not enough so may you forever Rest In Peace my dear friend.

Up 46 Down 8

Larry Lebedoff on Jul 7, 2020 at 8:53 pm

What a horrible tragic loss. I feel so sad for your family. You had so much to contribute in the future. RIP!

Up 38 Down 14

Diane Pettifor on Jul 7, 2020 at 7:02 pm

This picture has absolutely nothing to do with what happened and only has caused more trauma and confusion to an incredibly horrific situation!! The accident happened on top of the hill heading northwest towards Whitehorse and the bridge area and bikers had nothing to do with it - when was that picture taken?

Up 71 Down 12

Riverrat on Jul 7, 2020 at 6:21 pm

We as a driving culture need to change our way seriously. It does not matter where you go, when is comes to driving, a lot of people have lost their respect for their fellow drivers. No one has time for one another anymore, everyone is number one and good. Forbid you get in the way. Even in the stores, many people are not well mannered anymore, just walk right through you, no good day, nothing, on your way to the milk section. Pisses me off, two people died for no good reason and families are hurting today, for what!!

Up 55 Down 7

Tragedy on Jul 7, 2020 at 4:49 pm

RIP and condolences to all of those involved.

Up 221 Down 9

Ted B Lambert on Jul 7, 2020 at 4:03 pm

So sad. Travis left behind a severely traumatized family and many loyal and now grieving friends. All for the sake of a hotshot driver attempting an illegal and dangerous pass. RIP Travis, and sincere condolences to the family.

Up 82 Down 47

justsayin' on Jul 7, 2020 at 3:03 pm

The picture above, speaks volumes. Where is the enforcement for the bikers who are not over the white line.

Up 179 Down 12

justsayin' on Jul 7, 2020 at 3:00 pm

Gosh, do I ever want to rant. I am mad, sad and I do not know where to start. Travis was an altruistic person who never seemed to need external validation. He was everyone's friend and treated people like people. He worked extremely hard and adored his family. We lost someone in the community who made this place better. How many of us can say we made the Yukon better; not very many and certainly not me.

I want to punch the person who decided this was the most opportunistic place to pass. Did you not see the "Buckwheat' in the stone just above, where a few years ago someone else had passed away? However, I feel bad for you as well.

YTG, Your passing lanes, signs are atrocious. A simple sign indicating a passing lane, ahead, or do not pass may have stopped someone from passing. The line painting you complete is horrific, especially when they can't stay on for 365 days. You expect companies to have a safety policy yet, you cannot even make the highways safe for Yukoners.

Sanderson family - I am so sorry you lost your family member. I did not know her, but I feel this accident was completely senseless and preventable.

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