A 25-year-old former Whitehorse resident and expectant father fell to his death in Edmonton, Alberta, on the weekend.
On April 6, Shawn Sweeney fell 16 storeys after trying to enter a friend’s apartment by hopping over a neighbour’s balcony.
“He was very loving,” said Sweeney’s mother Patricia Haight in an interview from Edmonton on Tuesday.
“He was very humorous — he just had a big heart and he was very giving.”
Sweeney leaves behind his partner, Nicole Phillips, who is expecting a baby girl within the next few months.
On Friday evening, Sweeney gathered with a group of people commemorating the loss of another friend from Whitehorse, said Haight.
At around 1:30 a.m. on Saturday morning, Sweeney decided to go to a friend’s nearby apartment.
Sweeney couldn’t wake his friend up so a neighbour let him into the building. Then Sweeney tried to cross from the neighbour’s balcony onto his friend’s balcony to rouse him.
There was a cement wall separating the two balconies.
“I’ve seen it, it looks like it would have been easy enough to go from one to the other, but he accidentally slipped and he fell,” said Haight.
“I got the call from a friend who was on the scene with a cellphone as he was with Shawn.
“It was nothing more than bad judgment and an accident.”
Sweeney was born and raised in Whitehorse where he attended FH Collins.
An only child, he had many friends and was very close with his family.
“He was very close to me and phoned me every second or third day,” Haight said.
“He would say, ‘Hi mama’ and would tell me whatever.”
Two years ago, he left Whitehorse for a job in the Alberta oil fields where he worked as a well tester, among other things, said Haight.
A couple of months ago Sweeney and his partner moved to Edmonton and began looking for work in the city.
“I’ll miss his phone calls and hearing his voice,” said Haight.
“We were really close, he would tell me everything about his life.”
There will be a memorial service at Mt. McIntyre on Sunday, April 15 at 2:30 p.m.
In lieu of flowers donations can be made towards a trust fund for the expected baby.