ATV rollover claims teen’s life

Jeffery Young, an 18-year-old F.H. Collins student, died on the weekend after losing control of an all-terrain vehicle.

Jeffery Young, an 18-year-old F.H. Collins student, died on the weekend after losing control of an all-terrain vehicle.

“It’s really a tragic mishap that, unfortunately, we can’t reverse,” RCMP Sgt. Ross Milward said this morning.

At about 8:30 p.m. Saturday, Young and a friend were doing stunts on Dolly Varden Road in Cowley Creek subdivision, a country residential neighbourhood near the Carcross cutoff.

The friend was on a two-wheeled motorbike and Young was driving an ATV, said Milward.

“What caused him to lose control is he flipped his leg over to ride side-saddle and, in doing so, the ATV caught the shoulder and (Young) lost control of it.”

The vehicle then rolled into the ditch, stopping on top of him.

Young was wearing a helmet.

His friend phoned police on a cellphone, immediately.

He then pushed the 230-kilogram vehicle off Young’s body and tried to give him first aid.

When police arrived on scene they performed CPR until the ambulance crew took over, but to no avail. Young was pronounced dead of massive internal injuries at Whitehorse General Hospital.

While alcohol is not believed to be a factor by police, results from the coroner have not yet been filed.

“It was just two young kids having fun who made the wrong choice at the wrong time,” said Milward.

The police investigation is complete, he added.

There was an eyewitness to describe the accident and the RCMP traffic analyst found nothing unusual at the site.

ATV fatalities are rare here, added Milward who has been in the territory for 21 years.

“We’re very fortunate with the number (of ATVs) that are out there.”

With summer sweeping across the territory, however, Milward cautions Yukoners to drive with care.

Drivers should follow the manufacturers’ instructions, wear a helmet, consume no alcohol or drugs and drive with care.

“We see multiple people on them,” he said. “We see them on paved surfaces and right on the bikes they say they’re not supposed to be used on hard surfaces because they’re unstable.”

Know your limits, he added.

“Don’t exceed what your abilities and experience are.”


Body pulled from Schwatka Lake

A third body has been pulled from the water near Whitehorse in less than a month.

The unidentified remains of the adult male were spotted at around 8:10 p.m. Tuesday night.

A local resident saw the body while jogging on Miles Canyon Road, along the shore of Schwatka Lake.

Police and firefighters removed the body, which was floating in the lake, and sent it to the coroner’s office for an autopsy.

A preliminary exam showed no signs of foul play.

Police are hoping to know the man’s identity later today.

When a body has been in the water for some time, it is harder to identify, said police.

“It’s one of those things, we just have to take it step by step,” said RCMP Sgt. Ross Milward.

Since the end of May, the remains of three men have been drawn from the Yukon River system.

On May 31, a resident found the body of 27-year-old Curtis Garrett Woods while walking along the river in downtown Whitehorse.

Woods’ remains were found in the old shipyard pilings close to shore, at the foot of Wood Street.

The Whitehorse man, who had been missing since April 30, was last seen outside the Blue Moon Saloon on Jarvis Street.

Four days later, the body of a second man was recovered from shallow water on the east shore of Lake Laberge, across from Horse Creek

The man has recently been identified as 34-year-old Uklette David Ritchotte, also a Whitehorse resident.

Ritchotte had been missing since last October.

His vehicle was found parked on Hospital Road, beside the Yukon River.

“We had no doubt he’d gone into the river,” said Milward in an interview this morning.

No identification was found on his body, but police identified him through dental records.

The preliminary results from both autopsies show the men drowned, according to Yukon coroner Sharon Hanley.

The blood work for Woods and Ritchotte, which will determine whether alcohol or drugs were involved, is expected over the next few weeks. (CO)