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Driver in fatal 2020 collision on Alaska Highway near Whitehorse pleads guilty

Court documents state that Devin Edmiston was not licensed to drive when his overtake caused crash
A police officer places evidence markers on the Alaska Highway near the blue bridge at the scene of a three-vehicle collision on July 5, 2020. A 43-year-old motorcycle rider from Whitehorse and a 47-year-old car passenger were pronounced dead at the scene. (Jackie Hong/Yukon News Files)

The man charged with causing the collision on the Alaska Highway outside Whitehorse that claimed the life of a motorcyclist and the passenger of the car he was driving entered guilty pleas on Nov. 1.

Devin Edmiston, 27, plead guilty to two counts of dangerous operation of a conveyance causing death and one count of dangerous operation causing bodily harm before territorial court judge Karen Ruddy. No pleas were entered for the other charges of causing death and bodily harm by criminal negligence that he was also charged with.

Edmiston was arrested and charged in June 2021 for his role in the July 2020 crash near Marsh Lake. The collision claimed the lives of 43-year-old Travis Adams, who was riding his motorcycle, and 47-year-old Nicole Sanderson, who was riding in the car Edmiston was driving.

Admissions filed with the court shed new light on the fatal collision. The document details how Edmiston and Sanderson, a couple from Winnipeg, were visiting the Yukon in the days leading to the collision. Edmiston was driving a car owned by Sanderson on a family outing to the Marsh Lake area with another group in an SUV. The document states that both vehicles were travelling well in excess of the speed limit when Edmiston moved over into the oncoming lane to try to overtake the SUV. Vehicles were coming the opposite direction so Edmiston moved back towards his lane but clipped the rear of the SUV while doing so.

The car Edmiston was driving struck Adams’ motorcycle, killing him. It then rolled over, severely injuring both Sanderson and Zachery McCutcheon, the other passenger. The SUV the car struck first hit the ditch alongside the road. Sanderson died at the scene.

The admissions states that Edmiston was not licensed to drive at the time of the collision and never has been. No one in the car he was driving was wearing a seatbelt.

No one in the vehicle Edmiston was attempting to overtake was seriously injured when it hit the ditch.

The admissions state that road conditions were not a factor in the crash and Edmistion was not impaired by drugs or alcohol behind the wheel.

The Crown alleges further information that could be considered by the judge at sentencing but was not admitted is also true. If an agreement cannot be reached on the truth of this information, a hearing to establish their truth will have to be held. A date has not been fixed for sentencing yet.

Civil suits naming Edmiston as a defendant have been filed by Adams’ family, McCutcheon and Darian Field who was a passenger in the SUV. The civil claims have not been heard or proven in court.

Contact Jim Elliot at

Jim Elliot

About the Author: Jim Elliot

I’m a B.C. transplant here in Whitehorse at The News telling stories about the Yukon's people, environment, and culture.
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