Lawsuit filed over 2020 crash that killed Whitehorse motorcycle rider

The wife and children of Whitehorse resident Travis Adams have filed a statement of claim to the Yukon Supreme Court alleging negligence on the part of the drivers and owners of the other vehicles involved in the crash. Among the defendants is the estate of a woman who also died in the incident.

Travis Adams' wife and children suing other people involved in three-vehicle crash near Marsh Lake

Yukon RCMP at the scene of a crash on the Alaska Highway near the Blue Bridge on July 5, 2020. Motorcycle rider Travis Adams was one of two people killed in the collision. His wife and children have filed a lawsuit against the drivers and owners of the other vehicles involved in the incident. (Steve Silva/CBC)

The widow and children of a Whitehorse motorcycle rider killed in a crash near Marsh Lake, Yukon, last summer have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the owners and drivers of the two other vehicles involved in the incident. 

Jennifer DeHart, the common-law wife of Travis Adams, filed a statement of claim on behalf of herself and her three children to the Yukon Supreme Court on June 9. 

Adams, 43, died on July 5, 2020, after his motorcycle was hit by a car on the Alaska Highway near the Lewes River Bridge, also commonly referred to as the "Blue Bridge." 

A news release from the Yukon Coroner's Service at the time said that the car had been attempting to pass an SUV on the highway when the two vehicles collided and lost control, with the car hitting Adams' oncoming motorcycle before ending up in a ditch. 

The owner of the car, 47-year-old Nicole Sanderson from Winnipeg, also died.

Sanderson, who was a passenger at the time of the crash, owned the car; her estate is one of four defendants listed on the statement of claim. The others include Winnipeg resident Devin Edmiston, who was driving the car, Whitehorse resident Justice Field, who was driving the SUV, and Vernon, B.C., resident Kevin Mendelsohn, who owned the SUV. 

The lawsuit alleges that all four defendants were negligent in either their driving or their allowing someone else to use their vehicles without taking the proper care or precautions. That, in turn, led to Adams' "wrongful death," the lawsuit claims, which has caused DeHart and her children to suffer "grief and loss of guidance, care and companionship," "loss of household and childcare services" and "loss of financial support," among other things. 

DeHart and her children are seeking an unspecified amount for loss and damages. 

The allegations have not been tested at trial, and no statements of defence had been filed as of Wednesday. 

The CBC was unable to reach the defendants for comment. 

DeHart declined to speak directly with the CBC. However, her lawyer, Marc Kazimirski, said in an interview June 10 that she was "fortunate to be surrounded by a loving family and friends and has had an enormous amount of support from everyone in the community." 

Of the lawsuit, Kazimirski said that "any amount of money seems trivial" when it comes to compensating for the loss of a loved one, and that DeHart knows no amount would make her family whole again. 

"Unfortunately, there's no amount of money that compensates that loss truly or fully," he said, "but that's the best that our system has." 


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