An RCMP places evidence markers after a fatal motor vehicle accidental involving a motorcycle near the blue bridge south of Whitehorse on July 8, 2020. (Jackie Hong/Yukon News)

Two more lawsuits filed related to fatal Alaska Highway motorcycle collision

Further legal actions have been launched relating to a fatal July 2020 crash on the Alaska Highway south of Whitehorse. The new lawsuits are brought by passengers in two of the cars involved seeking legal relief following the severe crash they say was caused by the negligence of others.

The July 5, 2020 collision in the vicinity of the highway bridge near the Lewes Dam claimed the life of 43-year-old Travis Adams of Whitehorse as well as 47-year-old Nicole Sanderson of Winnipeg.

Three vehicles were involved – Adams’ motorcycle and two cars. Last year saw criminal charges laid against Devin Edmiston, who was allegedly behind the wheel of one of the vehicles.

Last year, a civil suit was also launched by Adams’ family. It named Edmiston, Justice Field and Kevin Mendelsohn, as well as Sanderson’s estate, as defendants. Court documents claim that Field was driving the vehicle belonging to Mendelsohn. Edmiston was driving Sanderson’s vehicle.

On June 13, two further lawsuits were filed. One was launched by Zachery McCutcheon and lists the same defendants as the one filed by Adams’ family. McCutcheon’s statement of claim says that he was a passenger in the vehicle driven by Edmiston.

The court document goes on to claim each of the defendants were negligent — Edmiston and Field in their driving and Sanderson and Mendelsohn in allowing the drivers to use their vehicles.

The statement of claim details a range of serious injuries McCutcheon claims to have suffered as a result of the defendants’ negligence. It says these included vertebrae and spine injuries among others and the accompanying pain, loss of enjoyment, disability and loss of earnings.

The other lawsuit from June 13 was filed by Darian Field, identified in the statement of claim as Sanderson’s daughter and a passenger in one of the vehicles that were involved in the crash. It names all the same defendants, including Sanderson’s estate, but also adds Adams’ estate and a numbered company registered in the Yukon to the list.

Field’s lawsuit blames the crash on the negligence of the defendants. It also details the injuries she suf- fered and claims damages, compensation under the Fatal Accidents Act and other legal relief.

Both suits claim that Edmiston tried to pass the vehicle Darian Field was in, moving over into the oncoming lane where Adams’ motorcycle was heading in the opposite direction. Both state that the vehicle Edmiston was driving hit the other vehicle and then both left the roadway and crashed. Both legal claims acknowledge that Adams’ motorcycle also crashed with one stating that the car driven by Edmiston struck it first.

Edmiston, a 26-year-old man from Winnipeg was taken into custody by the RCMP in June 2021 and charged with criminal offences relating to the crash. He is charged with two counts of criminal negligence causing death, one count of criminal negligence causing bodily harm, two counts of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing death and one count of dangerous operation causing bodily harm. He selected a trial by judge and jury before the Yukon Supreme Court in late 2021.

Neither the claims made in the civil suits nor the criminal charges have been proven in court.

Contact Jim Elliot at