Ten Years Ago: Boys In Red Will Never Be Forgotten

Posted on Friday, January 12, 2018 07:15 AM

It was ten years ago today, tragedy struck on a New Brunswick highway.  It was a snowy night, as a team of young basketball players from Bathurst made their way home from a game in Moncton.

Their van collided with a tractor trailer, and seven boys and the Coach's wife, who was also a teacher were killed in the crash.

Nickolas Quinn, Javier Acevedo, Codey Branch, Daniel Hains, Nathan Cleland, Justin Cormier and Nicholas Kelly, along with the coach’s wife, Elizabeth Lord were all killed in the accident.

Former Reporter Rebecca Campbell, who had previously lived in Bathurst, remembers the shock in the community the day after, "I remember at the time, it was so eerie.  I went to the grocery store and it was just silent, because no one knew what to say.  It was almost like, you had to embrace the people you saw, because it was such a hurt.  It was nothing like I had seen before."

She says everyone was hit hard by this tragedy.

"There was no one, I mean when it is seven young people, almost a whole basketball team and a beloved teacher, there was no one in the community who wasn't struck by this.  There was nobody that it didn't touch."

The Boys In Red have prompted change in the way things are done..24 recommendations were made after a Coroners Inquest, and 20 of those were implemented by the province.
 
The incident also motivated changes in the way school teams are transported.   New Brunswick immediately halted the use of 15-passenger vans and began a thorough review of transportation policy, and many other provinces followed suit.  

Weather conditions prior to travel fro school teams are also taken very seriously.

"These boys were such an integral part of that community and the Bathurst residents should be very proud about how that whole community came together,"  Campbell says.