Cardiff killed in crash

Mount Lorne MLA Steve Cardiff died in a two-vehicle wreck at on the South Klondike Highway yesterday afternoon. The head-on collision, which took place at kilometre 130, just north of Lewes Lake Road, involved a southbound tractor trailer and a northbound 1998 S10 Chevy pickup, driven by Cardiff.

Mount Lorne MLA Steve Cardiff died in a two-vehicle wreck on the South Klondike Highway yesterday afternoon.

The head-on collision, which took place at kilometre 130, just north of Lewes Lake Road, involved a southbound tractor trailer and a northbound 1998 S10 Chevy pickup, driven by Cardiff.

RCMP got the call at 12:26 p.m. and Carcross detachment responded, said RCMP Sgt. Don Rogers.

It appears the pickup crossed into the opposite lane and collided head on with the transport truck, he said.

The transport trailer ended up in the southbound ditch while the pickup was bounced back onto the shoulder of the northbound lane, said Rogers.

Cardiff was thrown from his vehicle and was found deceased.

The driver of the transport was taken to Whitehorse General Hospital with minor injuries, added Rogers.

At this point police do not know why Cardiff’s truck crossed into the opposite lane, said Rogers. “We don’t know the contributing factors.”

The highway was closed until just before midnight.

“We are deeply saddened at the news of the sudden death of friend and colleague,” wrote New Democrat Leader Liz Hanson in a statement this morning. “Our hearts and thoughts are with his family at this time of such an untimely loss.

“Our party will do all we can to comfort and support them during this difficult period.”

Cardiff, 53, was born in Port Alberni, BC, and moved to the Yukon in 1976. He was elected to the Yukon legislative assembly in November, 2002. He was re-elected in October, 2006 and served as NDP critic for the Department of Energy, Mines and Resources, the Department of Highways and Public Works, the Department of Community Services, the Department of Education, the Department of Justice, the Yukon Energy Corporation, the Yukon Development Corporation, the Yukon Workers’ Compensation Health and Safety Board, the Yukon Housing Corporation and the Yukon Liquor Corporation.

In February 2009, following Todd Hardy’s resignation, Cardiff declared his intention to seek the leadership of the Yukon New Democrats. He later withdrew from the race for personal reasons.

Prior to politics, Cardiff worked for 20 years as a certified sheet metal journeyman and served 16 years as local president of the United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters. He was a member of the Yukon College board of governors for nine years, and was an active volunteer with the Frostbite Music Society, Nlaye Ndasadaye Day Care and the Mount Lorne Community Association.

“He will be missed by the larger family of all Yukoners who benefitted from his strong and principled representation as the member of the legislative assembly for Mount Lorne, where he served with distinction for more than eight years,” wrote Hanson.

The NDP caucus office, in the basement of the Yukon legislative building, has its doors open today. The coffee is on and there is a book for mourners to write their thoughts, memories and wishes.

Everyone is welcome.

Contact Genesee Keevil at gkeevil@yukon-news.com