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The Death of 3-year-old Christine Chaykowsky

Arctic & Northern Biographies

The Whitehorse Star, August 7, 1953

Heavy Truck Kills 3 Year Old Girl in Tragic Alaska Highway Accident, 1953

    Christine Chaykowsky. three-year-old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Roman Chaykowsky, "The Pines," Mile 872, Alaska Highway, is reported to have died shortly after, being struck by a truck operated by Loiselle Transport Ltd., and driven by Walter McCulloch.

    According to information received, the truck had stopped at "The Pines," a highway establishment managed by Mr. Chaykowsky, and the little girl had played with a small boy who was a passenger in the vehicle. Christine was seen in the doorway of the restaurant just before the truck pulled away.

    An inquest is to be held.

The Whitehorse Star, August 14, 1953

Coroners Jury Brings In 'Accidental Death'

    A Coroner's Jury Thursday night found that the death of three-year-old Christine Chaykowsky to be "purely accidental." The little girl died after being struck by a truck operated by Loiselle Transport Ltd., and driven by W. McCulloch.

    Evidence showed that the little girl had been playing with Mr McCulloch's small son while the driver ate at the "The Pines," Mile 872, Alaska Highway, and that she came to the door of the lodge as the McCullochs left the building. She was last seen standing at the door of the lodge immediately before the truck's engine started.

    Accepting Christine's height to be approximately two and one-half feet, police evidence showed that from the cab of such a large truck it is impossible to see persons of this height if they are standing immediately in front of the vehicle.

    Grief-stricken, Mr. Chaykowsky pathetically described how he looked up from his work at the gas pump and in that instant saw the accident immediately about to occur. The time element was so small that it was impossible to take avoiding action. Mr. and Mrs. Chaykowsky both explained to the jury the fact that Christine had been taught to avoid all trucks, cars and heavy equipment. In fact she would run from them. Despite this fact, it appeared from the evidence that the child suddenly left her station beside the lodge and moved to such a position in front of the truck that the driver Was physically incapable of seeing her.

    The jury deliberated 20 minutes, returning a verdict that the girl's death was "purely accidental."