UPDATED: Volunteer firefighter dead after ambulance rolls into highway ditch near Haines Junction

The Yukon Coroner’s Service has identified the deceased as 19-year-old Elizabeth Boyd.

A Yukon volunteer firefighter and recent recipient of an Outstanding Youth Achievement Award is dead after the ambulance she was driving — apparently without permission, and while using her cell phone — rolled into a ditch along the Alaska Highway near Haines Junction the morning of June 13.

The Yukoner Coroner’s Service has identified the deceased as 19-year-old Elizabeth Boyd of Whitehorse.

Boyd was a volunteer firefighter with the Mount Lorne Volunteer Fire Department (MLVFD), competing in last month’s FireFit competition in Whitehorse, and was one of four youth who received an Outstanding Youth Achievement Award in 2017. A Yukon government press release about the award said that Boyd joined the MLVFD when she was 16 and had also been “heavily involved” with the local 4-H Club and Junior Rangers program.

According to a press releases from the Yukon RCMP and Yukon Coroner’s Service, Haines Junction RCMP, the Yukon Coroner’s Service, Fire and Emergency Medical Services were called to Kilometre 1566 of the Alaska Highway, 14 km east of Haines Junction, around 7 a.m. on June 13 after reports of a single motor vehicle accident.

Boyd, the driver and lone occupant of a private ambulance belonging to the Yukon government’s Department of Highways and Public Works (HPW), was found dead on scene.

The ambulance had been “taken without consent” from a highway construction site near Cracker Creek around 6:30 a.m., according to the Yukon Coroner’s Service, and driven to Haines Junction. It was returning towards the construction site, heading eastbound on the Alaska Highway, when Boyd lost control, crossed the highway and rolled into a ditch on the westbound side.

“The coroner’s investigation has confirmed that the driver of the vehicle was using a cell phone at the time of the incident,” the press release says, adding that a toxicological analysis will be performed in Vancouver.

According to the Yukon RCMP, “there is no known association between the deceased individual and the ambulance” and investigators are looking into the “possible theft” of the ambulance.

HPW spokesperson Heather McKay confirmed in an email that “the driver involved in the collision was not connected to the worksite” and that workers “became aware the ambulance was missing when they arrived at the job site Wednesday morning.”

The ambulance was parked at the site because it’s an “Occupational Health and Safety requirement to have an emergency transport vehicle on site for construction projects of this nature,” McKay wrote.

Traffic along the Alaska Highway was reduced to one lane from approximately 7 a.m. until noon June 13 for the investigation and cleanup.

Contact Jackie Hong at jackie.hong@yukon-news.com

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