Whitehorse man dies after falling 16 storeys

A 25-year-old former Whitehorse resident and expectant father fell to his death in Edmonton, Alberta, on the weekend.

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.

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

Just Posted

Dawson City RCMP are reporting a break and enter on Feb. 25 after two masked men entered a residence, assaulted a man inside with a weapon and departed. (Black Press file)
Two men arrested after Dawson City home invasion

Dawson City RCMP are reporting a break and enter on Feb. 25.… Continue reading

Highways and Public Works Minister Richard Mostyn speaks to reporters at a news conference in Whitehorse on Dec. 21, 2017. New ATIPP laws are coming into effect April 1. (Chris Windeyer/Yukon News file)
New access to information laws will take effect April 1

“Our government remains committed to government openness and accountability.”

City council meeting in Whitehorse on Feb. 8. At Whitehorse city council’s March 1 meeting, members were presented with a bylaw that would repeal 10 bylaws deemed to be redundant or out of date. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Out with the old

Council considers repealing outdated bylaws

A bobcat is used to help clear snow in downtown Whitehorse on Nov. 4. According to Environment Canada, the Yukon has experienced record-breaking precipitation this year. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Yukon will have “delayed spring” after heavy winter snowfall

After record levels of precipitation, cold spring will delay melt

Yukon RCMP say they’ve received three reports of youth being extorted online. (Black Press file)
Yukon youth being extorted online

Yukon RCMP say they’ve received three reports of youth being extorted on… Continue reading

A man walks passed the polling place sign at city hall in Whitehorse on Oct. 18, 2018. The City of Whitehorse is preparing for a pandemic-era election this October with a number of measures proposed to address COVID-19 restrictions. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
City gets set for Oct. 21 municipal election

Elections procedures bylaw comes forward

A rendering of the Normandy Manor seniors housing facility. (Photo courtesy KBC Developments)
Work on seniors housing project moves forward

Funding announced for Normandy Manor

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

Most Read