Driver gets house arrest for killing senior

A Yukon judge says the driver who killed a senior last year should never have been behind the wheel. Keith Ramage was given a three-month conditional sentence in March. The written decision was only released last week.

A Yukon judge says the driver who killed a senior last year should never have been behind the wheel.

Keith Ramage was given a three-month conditional sentence in March. The written decision was only released last week.

In Feb. 2014, Ramage was behind the wheel when he struck and killed 69-year-old William Lagimodiere in downtown Whitehorse.

He pleaded guilty to failing to yield the right of way to a pedestrian in a crosswalk and driving without due care and attention.

According to Yukon territorial court judge John Faulkner’s decision, on Feb. 26, 2014, at approximately 11:19 a.m., Ramage was driving north on Fourth Avenue in clear, dry conditions.

Between Ray and Baxter streets there is a pedestrian crosswalk marked with worn white lines and crosswalk signs mounted on poles on either side of the road. Lights flash when someone hits a button.

Lagimodiere pushed the button and waited for traffic to clear before he started to cross. The judge says the sun that day would have made it difficult for Ramage to see the flashing lights.

“When Mr. Lagimodiere had reached the outside or easternmost northbound lane, he was struck by Mr. Ramage’s vehicle.”

He later died.

There is no evidence that Ramage hit his breaks or did anything to try and stop the crash, the judge said.

He was going about 10 km over the speed limit for the construction zone but “had more than ample time to see the deceased, react, and stop,” Faulkner wrote.

Ramage told the police that he had been looking to the side, and when he looked back at the road, the pedestrian was right in front of him.

Ramage has a long medical history that would have impacted his ability to drive, the judge said. “Some of the issues, in fact, impact on his hearing and vision and would undoubtedly have consequences with respect to his operation of a vehicle.

“As well, the pain medications that he is currently on may, as well, affect his ability to concentrate and react to situations when he’s driving.”

In the mid-1990s Ramage’s licence was disqualified but eventually reinstated.

“It also develops that around 2005, Mr. Ramage’s employer became concerned about Mr. Ramage’s ability to operate machinery and drive a motor vehicle as his job required. Apparently there had been a number of what were termed “near misses,” the judge said.

Tests were done and found that he was making “attention-related errors” in his driving.

He didn’t lose his licence but did lose his job in 2007 “due to these and perhaps other difficulties,” the judge said.

He has previous convictions for failing to yield, following too close, and unsafe backing.

In the month before Lagimodiere’s death Ramage was involved in two other crashes, at least one of which was clearly his fault, Faulkner wrote.

“In hindsight, it is clear that there were issues and that Mr. Ramage should not have been driving a motor vehicle.”

Both the Crown and defence suggested a conditional sentence order of two to three months to be followed by 12 to 18 months of probation.

The judge went with the high end of both of those ranges.

Faulkner said the “sentence is certainly squarely within the range” of careless driving sentences in the Yukon.

“Since the defendant did not actually intend any harm, cases of careless driving are certainly not comparable to those where a death is caused by a murderer or even a reckless driver,” the judge said.

Still, it is important to take Lagimodiere’s death into consideration, he said.

For his three-month sentence, Ramage would have been under a curfew from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. Then he would be on probation for 18 months. He cannot drive for that time.

Contact Ashley Joannou at

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

During our recent conversation, John Nicholson showed me snapshots of his time working on the Yukon riverboats 70 years ago. (Michael Gates)
History Hunter: Yukon man relives the riverboat days after seven decades

John Nicholson took summer work on Yukon steamers in the 1950s

A cyclist rides along the Millenium Trail in downtown Whitehorse on a frigid Feb. 9. Whitehorse city council has passed the first two readings of an e-bike bylaw that would designate how e-bike riders can use city trails. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
First two readings passed on Whitehorse e-bike bylaw

Delegate calls on city to consider age restrictions and further regulations

Whitehorse City Hall at its Steele Street entrance. (Stephanie Waddell/Yukon News)
Change of plans approved for city hall

Project would see 1966 city hall demolished

A city map shows the property at 107 Range Road. The zoning is now in place for developers to proceed with plans for a Dairy Queen drive-thru. If plans proceed on schedule the new restaurant is anticipated to open in October. (Cyrstal Schick/Yukon News)
October opening eyed for Dairy Queen

Will depend on everything going according to plan

NDP candidate Annie Blake, left, and Liberal incumbent Pauline Frost. (Submitted photos)
Official recount confirms tie vote in Vuntut Gwitchin riding

Both candidates Pauline Frost and Annie Blake are still standing with 78 votes each

Joel Krahn/ Hikers traverse the Chilkoot Trail in September 2015. Alaska side.
The Canadian side of the Chilkoot Trail will open for summer

The Canadian side of the Chilkoot Trail will open for summer Parks… Continue reading

A bulldozer levels piles of garbage at the Whitehorse landfill in January 2012. (Ian Stewart/Yukon News file)
Rural dump closures and tipping fees raise concern from small communities

The government has said the measures are a cost-cutting necessity

Letters to the editor.
Today’s mailbox: Hands of Hope, the quilt of poppies

Toilets are important Ed. note: Hands of Hope is a Whitehorse-based non-profit… Continue reading

Whitehorse City Hall (Yukon News file)
City news, briefly

A look at city council matters for the week of April 12

École Whitehorse Elementary Grade 7 students Yumi Traynor and Oscar Wolosewich participated in the Civix Student Vote in Whitehorse on April 12. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Yukon Student Vote chooses Yukon Party government; NDP take popular vote

The initiative is organized by national non-profit CIVIX

Yvonne Clarke is the newly elected Yukon Party MLA for Porter Creek Centre. (Submitted/Yukon Party)
Yvonne Clarke elected as first Filipina MLA in the Yukon Legislative Assembly

Clarke beat incumbent Liberal Paolo Gallina in Porter Creek Centre

Emily Tredger at NDP election night headquarters after winning the Whitehorse Centre riding. (Stephanie Waddell/Yukon News)
Emily Tredger takes Whitehorse Centre for NDP

MLA-elect ready to get to work in new role

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Two new cases of COVID-19 variant identified in territory

“If variants were to get out of control in the Yukon, the impact could be serious.”

Most Read