• No inquest in the deaths of Jack and Brent Boxall


    Nipawin Journal

    Nipawin Saskatchewan Canada

    There will be no inquest into the deaths of Jack and Brent Boxall, the father and son who were killed in the 2008 gas explosion that ripped through Nipawin's downtown core. The explosion also seriously injured others and leveled three buildings.

    Lorry Riemer, the backhoe operator, who struck the gas line, faced an Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) trial in November. Court heard that there was a ladder of errors committed by SaskEnergy and its employees before and after the explosion.

    SaskEnergy also faced charges for violations, but those charges were dropped. Since then, OHS officials and other government departments have given contradictory accounts of various events.

    The local coroner, a retired Nipawin RCMP officer, was on the scene following the explosion. In the days and months that followed, he did extensive research and interviews. Several months later, he submitted a report that included a summary of several pages and recommended that an inquest take place.

    The final decision regarding an inquest into their deaths, was made by Saskatchewan's chief coroner, Kent Stewart. Stewart did not give clear reasons for his decision.

    Inquests are public hearings and are held in front of a six-member jury. They are designed to determine the facts and circumstances surrounding the death and to bring dangerous practices to light.

    A chief coroner can call an inquest into any sudden, unexpected or unnatural death.

    According to the website of the coroner's office there are four reasons to call an inquest. They are:

    . To determine the identity of the deceased and how, when, where and by what means he or she died;

    . To inform the public of the circumstances surrounding a death;

    . To make dangerous practices or conditions known and make recommendations to avoid preventable deaths; and,

    . To educate the public about dangerous practices or conditions to avoid preventable deaths.

    The coroner's report said that Jack died from blunt force trauma and the death was accidental. Some family members believe the report isn't enough. They are still left with questions and wanted a full inquest into the deaths.