Whitehorse Daily Star

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LITIGATION LAUNCHED – Ken Baker, who, among other things, was known for his dance skills, performs at the Celebrations of Swans in April 2004. He was killed in a traffic mishap last June 4.

Fatal highway mishap leads to suit from victim’s spouse

The wife of a man who was killed while driving on the Alaska Highway after a metal device flew off a passing tractor trailer is suing the unknown driver and the employer involved.

By Emily Blake on December 29, 2017

The wife of a man who was killed while driving on the Alaska Highway after a metal device flew off a passing tractor trailer is suing the unknown driver and the employer involved.

Ken Baker, a prominent member of the Carcross-Tagish First Nation, was killed on June 4, when a winch boomer went through his windshield.

The 58-year-old was one of the Tagish Nation Dancers.

According to the Teslin RCMP, while many suspects were identified during the investigation, they were unable to conclude who was responsible.

Now Baker’s wife, Emily Bear, has launched a suit in the Yukon Supreme Court against the unknown truck driver and the corporation that owns the tractor trailer.

The suit alleges Baker’s death was caused by the negligence of the defendants and claims general and special damages.

The allegations against the driver include that he or she:

• failed to keep a proper lookout;

• did not drive with due care and attention;

• failed to take reasonable steps to avoid an accident; and

• failed to secure the winch boomer in a proper fashion.

Alternatively, the suit claims the corporation was negligent for permitting the driver to operate the tractor trailer, and possibly knowing that an accident was impending.

This is the second suit that has been filed in relation to the fatal accident.

Arthur Joe, 65, launched a suit this fall that contains many of the same allegations and also claims general and special damages.

Joe was a passenger in Baker’s vehicle at the time of the incident and suffered non-life-threatening injuries.

Those included a head injury with resulting traumatic brain injury, musculoskeletal injuries, abrasions, lacerations and contusions as well as emotional and psychological injuries.

The allegations in both suits have yet to be heard in court.

While the identity of the company and driver must be listed in order for the claims to move forward, there are a number of reasons why someone might commence a civil claim against an unknown defendant.

These include filing a claim before the statute of limitations expires.

And it can be a means of getting access to information like evidence from a police investigation.

This is significant as the standard of proof in civil cases is based on a balance of probabilities rather than beyond a reasonable doubt like in criminal cases.

Comments (3)

Up 0 Down 0

Captain Obvious on Jan 4, 2018 at 5:06 pm

Yes, it is required for insurance purposes. Civil litigation has a shelf life.
And SHE doesn't file, the insurance company does all these actions on behalf of the client.

A friend of mine had a drunk person step off the curb and right onto his car. The RCMP looked at it and immediately said he was at zero fault, if not an attempt at fraud.

However, the person filed a small civil suit (less than 10k). The insurance company looked at it, determined it wasn't worth even taking to court and so paid out. Didn't matter that he wasn't at fault, it still shows up as a insurance payout. No way to argue once you sign those insurance docs.

It's a brutal scam.

Up 4 Down 0

My Opinion on Dec 31, 2017 at 3:42 pm

All this sounds as if there are some sort of Insurance ramifications if a suit is undertaken. No other reason to do it and quite expensive. Hope it isn't just the lawyers convincing them to spend money needlessly.

Up 2 Down 0

Saddened Yukoner on Dec 30, 2017 at 12:25 pm

A sad situation for Mrs. Baker. A dash camera on Mr. Bakers vehicle would have probably helped to solve this. I don't see otherwise how you would find out what happened or who could be held responsible. I'm sorry for your loss...

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