Mother grateful for help after rollover down a ravine

Tara Sheridan's harrowing journey down a ravine still leaves the mother of two boys in shock. After enjoying some of the Rendezvous festivities in Whitehorse last Saturday afternoon, Sheridan and her three- and five-year-old son

Tara Sheridan’s harrowing journey down a ravine still leaves the mother of two boys in shock.

After enjoying some of the Rendezvous festivities in Whitehorse last Saturday afternoon, Sheridan and her three- and five-year-old sons stopped at Tim Hortons and headed home northbound on the Alaska Highway.

Just before the Kopper King, the Toyota Forerunner hit a patch of black ice on a long, left-turning corner, said Sheridan.

The corner’s outer edge hid a 12- to 15-metre ravine. As Sheridan lost control of the vehicle, she thought a guardrail would stop her.

“We went over the edge and I realized there wasn’t a guardrail,” said Sheridan.

As the truck went down, it rolled over front to back and then from side to side.

“As we were tumbling through the air, I was talking to my boys, telling them it was going to be alright,” she said. “I tried to reassure them that I was there.”

In the split-second chaos, there was no certainty how it would end.

“I was saying, ‘It’s OK, we’re going to be OK,’” said Sheridan.

The truck finally stopped with the driver’s side facing up.

18-year-old Kye Durell was snowmobiling near the ravine with friends. As he headed home to grab his video camera, he saw what looked like a cloud of blinding snow.

“I came up over a hill and I saw this vehicle in the ditch,” said Durell.

There wasn’t any reception when Durell called 911 from the base of the ravine. He ran up to the highway to make the call, and then raced back down.

“I don’t know if that was me just trying to dial the number too fast,” he said.

Durell didn’t even know there were two children in the vehicle at this point.

“It was really hard to see what was going on because the truck was on its side,” he said. “Everything seemed to be really hectic. I was yelling through (the door) to tell her that people were coming.”

“She was trying to push up on the door from the inside and I was trying to pull up and it eventually opened,” he said.

What struck Sheridan was the young man’s cool demeanor through all the chaos.

“He was so cool and calm through the whole thing,” said Sheridan.

“He comes over – he’s talking on his cellphone to 911 – but how would he know what he’s getting himself into?” she said. “You know – if it would have been bloodyÉ.”

“What possesses someone to do that? What gets them to come over when they don’t know what they’re getting themselves into?”

Sheridan and her two boys weren’t hurt, just visibly shaken.

Durell, who graduated from high school last year and teaches swimming at the Canada Games Centre, felt it was rewarding to help someone in distress.

“I’ll always be there to help anyone out, really,” he said. “It was a good experience; it’s something I’ll remember, that’s for sure.”

Sheridan is still shocked by how lucky she was after hearing that boulders lie at the bottom of the ravine, and she credits seatbelts for saving their lives.

“I was a little perplexed about why there wasn’t any gravel on the highway,” she said.

After getting the family out of the car, Durell carried Sheridan’s youngest up the hill, and a couple that had stopped on the highway gave the family a ride home.

Sheridan was impressed that an 18-year-old could handle a panicky situation so professionally.

“For a kid, he was so together and he wasn’t freaking out,” she said. “He was just awesome with my boys.”

Contact James Munson at

jamesm@yukon-news.com.

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

Just Posted

Team Yukon skip Laura Eby, left, directs her team as Team Northern Ontario skip Krysta Burns looks on at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Calgary on Feb. 22. (Jeff McIntosh/CP)
Team Yukon reports positive experience at Scotties

Team Yukon played their final game at the national championship in Calgary on Thursday afternoon

A sign indicating a drop-off area behind Selkirk Elementary school in Whitehorse on Feb. 25. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Parking lot proposal for Selkirk Elementary criticized

Parents and school council are raising concerns about green space and traffic woes

adsf
WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World for Feb. 26, 2021

Ken Anderson’s Sun and Moon model sculpture sits in the snow as he carves away at the real life sculpture behind Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre for the Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous festival in Whitehorse on Feb. 21, 2018. Yukon Rendezvous weekend kicks off today with a series of outdoor, virtual and staged events. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Rendezvous snowpad, live music and fireworks this weekend

A round-up of events taking place for the 2021 Rendezvous weekend

Yukon Energy in Whitehorse on Aug. 4, 2020. The proposed Atlin Hydro Expansion project is moving closer to development with a number of milestones reached by the Tlingit Homeland Energy Limited Partnership and Yukon Energy over the last several months. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Atlin hydro project progresses

Officials reflect on milestones reached

Tom Ullyett, pictured, is the first Yukoner to receive the Louis St-Laurent Award of Excellence from the Canadian Bar Association for his work as a community builder and mentor in the territory. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News)
Tom Ullyett wins lifetime achievement award from the Canadian Bar Association

Ullyett has worked in the Yukon’s justice ecosystem for 36 years as a public sector lawyer and mentor

The Blood Ties outreach van will now run seven nights a week, thanks to a boost in government funding. Logan Godin, coordinator, and Jesse Whelen, harm reduction counsellor, are seen here on May 12, 2020. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Blood Ties outreach van running seven nights a week with funding boost

The Yukon government is ramping up overdose response, considering safe supply plan

Ranj Pillai speaks to media about business relief programs in Whitehorse on April 1, 2020. The Yukon government announced Feb.25 that it will extend business support programs until September. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Government extends business relief programs to September, launches new loan

“It really gives folks some help with supporting their business with cash flow.”

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
A look at decisions made by Whitehorse City Council this week

Bylaw amendment Whitehorse city council is moving closer with changes to a… Continue reading

Susie Rogan is a veteran musher with 14 years of racing experience and Yukon Journey organizer. (Yukon Journey Facebook)
Yukon Journey mushers begin 255-mile race

Eleven mushers are participating in the race from Pelly Crossing to Whitehorse

Legislative assembly on the last day of the fall sitting in Whitehorse on Nov. 22, 2018. As the legislature prepares to return on March 4, the three parties are continuing to finalize candidates in the territory’s 19 ridings. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Nine new candidates confirmed in Yukon ridings

It has been a busy two weeks as the parties try to firm up candidates

David Malcolm, 40, has been charged with assaulting and attempting to disarm a police officer after an incident in Whitehorse on Feb. 18. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
Man resists arrest, assaults officer

A Whitehorse man has been charged with assaulting and attempting to disarm… Continue reading

Yukon Energy in Whitehorse on Aug. 4, 2020. A site on Robert Service Way near the Alaska Highway has been selected as the future home of Yukon Energy’s energy storage project. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Site selected for Yukon Energy battery project

Planned to be in service by the end of 2022

Most Read