No records exist for deadly soccer net

If the soccer net that fell and killed five-year-old Jaedyn Amann was inspected by government workers during the three years that led up to the young Watson Lake girl's death in July, no record of this work exists.

If the soccer net that fell and killed five-year-old Jaedyn Amann was inspected by government workers during the three years that led up to the young Watson Lake girl’s death in July, no record of this work exists.

Email correspondence between territorial officials, obtained by the News through an access-to-information request, shows officials with the departments of Education and Public Works scrambling to find information on the nets following the fatal accident.

The territory did conduct an “education facility conditions assessment” in 2011. But that review makes “no mention of sports and playground equipment,” wrote Chic Callas, facilities project manager for Education.

Shelby Workman, director of facilities, confirmed that all of the documents the department had regarding the soccer nets at Watson Lake’s high school were provided.

What little is known about the soccer nets has been announced by the territory’s chief coroner following Amann’s death. Manufactured by Raymond Company, the collapsible metal net stands six-foot-six high, 10 feet across and weighs about 180 pounds.

The nets were likely purchased in the mid-1980s for less than $1,000, according to emails.

“I think these are pretty old,” wrote Mike Woods, superintendent of schools.

Efforts to find information about the manufacturer and original purchase turned up nothing.

“Internet searches didn’t turn up any information,” wrote Callas. “Checked with our dept. of finance to see if they had records of purchase – but records are only kept for seven years. It is believed a couple of fold-up interior soccer nets were purchased in 1990, when the new gym was added, but whether these are the same nets or not is unknown.”

A change in computer systems meant any purchases less than $1,000 were deleted in 2005.

Regular staff turnover at the Watson Lake school presented another challenge.

A former gym teacher, who taught at the school for 20 years, confirmed the school did get indoor nets that were metal and folded down.

“I don’t know when they got moved outside,” he was quoted in an email by Callas.

Government officials wouldn’t comment further until investigations by the RCMP and coroner are complete.

“We’re continuing our work to identify actions we can take to contribute to safety on our school soccer fields,” said Michele Royle with the department of education.

The department’s new deputy minister, Valerie Royle, who is moving over from the Workers’ Health and Compensation Board, has “extensive knowledge and experience that will guide our department’s work in this file as a top priority.”

Information from the RCMP was redacted from the obtained documents because releasing it could “interfere with law enforcement,” or “prejudice the legal rights of a public body in the conduct of existing or reasonably expected proceedings in court or before an adjudicative body.”

Following the death of his daughter, Paul Amann said the family was considering legal action. But his main focus is to try to persuade the government to ban or enforce proper installation of these types of nets and regulate quarterly inspections of all sports and playground equipment.

In August, a petition of more than 5,000 signatures was circulating to force the Yukon government to write “Jaedyn’s Law.”

At that time, Education Minister Scott Kent said the government wouldn’t discuss legislation until after the investigations were complete.

Jaedyn Amann was the second child in Canada to die from falling, collapsible soccer nets this year. She is also number 94 on an unofficial list of all children killed by falling nets in North America.

Contact Roxanne Stasyszyn at

roxannes@yukon-news.com

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

Just Posted

asdf
WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World for Nov. 27, 2020

Premier Sandy Silver during a live update on the COVID-19 situation at a press conference in Whitehorse on March 27. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Total Yukon COVID case count increased to 42 cases

Premier urges patience after national meeting on vaccine roll-out

Benjamin Poudou, Mount MacIntyre’s ski club manager, poses for a photo in the club’s ski rental area on Nov. 16. The club has sold around 1,850 passes already this year, compared to 1067 passes on Oct. 31 last year. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Early season ski pass sales up as Yukoners prepare for pandemic winter

Season passe sales at Mount McIntyre for cross-country skiing are up by around 60 per cent this year

The City of Whitehorse will be spending $655,000 to upgrade the waste heat recovery system at the Canada Games Centre. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
New waste heat recovery system coming to the CGC

Council approves $655,000 project

Cody Pederson of the CA Storm walks around LJ’s Sabres player Clay Plume during the ‘A’ division final of the 2019 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament. The 2021 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament, scheduled for March 25 to 28 in Whitehorse next year, was officially cancelled on Nov. 24 in a press release from organizers. (John Hopkins-Hill/Yukon News file)
2021 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament cancelled

The 2021 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament, scheduled for March 25 to 28… Continue reading

Lev Dolgachov/123rf
The Yukon’s Information and Privacy Commissioner stressed the need to safeguard personal information while shopping this holiday season in a press release on Nov. 24.
Information and Privacy Commissioner issues reminder about shopping

The Yukon’s Information and Privacy Commissioner Diane McLeod-McKay stressed the need to… Continue reading

Keith Lay speaks at a city council meeting on Dec. 4, 2017. Lay provided the lone submission to council on the city’s proposed $33 million capital spending plan for 2021 on Nov. 23, taking issue with a number of projects outlined. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Resident raises issues with city’s capital budget

Council to vote on budget in December

Beatrice Lorne was always remembered by gold rush veterans as the ‘Klondike Nightingale’. (Yukon Archives/Maggies Museum Collection)
History Hunter: Beatrice Lorne — The ‘Klondike Nightingale’

In June of 1929, 11 years after the end of the First… Continue reading

Samson Hartland is the executive director of the Yukon Chamber of Mines. The Yukon Chamber of Mines elected a new board of directors during its annual general meeting held virtually on Nov. 17. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Yukon Chamber of Mines elects new board

The Yukon Chamber of Mines elected a new board of directors during… Continue reading

The Yukon Hospital Corporation has released its annual report for 2019-20, and — unsurprisingly — hospital visitations were down. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Annual report says COVID-19 had a large impact visitation numbers at Whitehorse General

The Yukon Hospital Corporation has released its annual report for 2019-20, and… Continue reading

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

Most Read