A coroner’s inquest into the 2021 death of a Watson Lake infant will begin Monday in Whitehorse.
Kaiya Sandra Faith Stone-Kirk was seven months old when her death was reported to the Yukon Coroner’s Service by the Watson Lake Community Hospital on Aug. 1, 2021.
Under Section 40 (1) of the Coroner’s Act, the chief coroner may direct that an inquest be held when the public has an interest in being informed of the circumstances surrounding a death.
A coroner’s inquest is a public inquiry that serves three primary functions:
1) to determine the facts related to a death, including the identity of the deceased and how, when, where and by what means the individual came to their death, as well as a classification for the death;
2) to make recommendations, where appropriate and supported by evidence, to prevent deaths in similar circumstances; and
3) to ensure public confidence that the circumstances surrounding the death of an individual will not be overlooked, concealed or ignored.
Presiding coroner Mara Pollock and a jury will hear evidence from witnesses under oath to determine the facts surrounding the baby’s death.
The jury will be able to make recommendations aimed at preventing deaths under similar circumstances.
A jury must not make any finding of legal responsibility nor express any conclusion of law.
The inquest will begin at 10:30 a.m. at the Yukon Inn. It’s scheduled to go through June 16.