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Deaths of Cap-Pelé teens bring painful memories to many

The accident in Notre-Dame early Saturday morning that killed four teenagers from Cap-Pelé is dredging up painful memories of similar accidents around the province in recent years.

At least 30 N.B. teenagers have died in accidents that claimed multiple lives since 2006

The accident in Notre-Dame early Saturday morning that killed four teenagers from Cap-Pelé is dredging up painful memories of similar accidents around the province in recent years.

Justin Léger, Justin Brown, and Sebastien Léger — all 18 years old — and LucArsenault, 17, were killed when their car crashed on Route 115 in Notre Dame.

A funeral service for all four young men will be held Tuesday at 3 p.m. at ÉglisedeParoisse Ste. ThérèseD'Avila in Cap-Pelé.

Luc Arsenault, Justin Léger, Seb Léger and Justin Brown are the latest New Brunswick teenagers to die in a motor vehicle accident involving multiple deaths. (Facebook)
The accident is at least the eighth in the last eight years to claim the lives of multiple young people in New Brunswick. The death toll from those accidents includes 30 teenagers, a 20-year-old man and a woman.

Allen Marr, a former school tragic events counsellor, says such events are always difficult to cope with.

"The degree of trauma from this large of a tragedy is such that it will affect a lot more people and it will affect them for a longer period of time," said Marr.

Marr was involved in grief counselling for students at Riverview High School in 2010 when an accident killed three students.

In that accident, an 18-year-old woman, an 18-year-old man and a 19-year-old man died at the scene when their car crashed into a tree in Forest Glen. Two other teens in the car were critically injured.

There have also been other accidents involving the deaths of multiple teenagers:

  • In 2006, two 17-year-old boys and a 16-year-old boy died in a single-vehicle rollover near Cambridge Narrows.
  • In 2007, four 16-year-old boys who were students at Harrison Trimble High School were killed when their car crashed head-on into a pickup truck when they were passing another vehicle on a solid line.
  • In 2007, two 16-year-old boys and two 19-year-old men died when their car left Highway 134 between Saint-Louis-de-Kent and Richibucto and struck a culvert.
  • In 2008, seven high school basketball players from Bathurst High School were killed when the van they were in collided with a truck in a snowstorm as they returned home from a tournament. Their coach's wife also died.
  • In 2011, a 16-year-old boy and a 17-year-old boy from the Florenceville area died when the motorized scooter they were riding collided with a pickup truck.
  • Last December, four young people from the Tracadie-Sheila area died when their car slid off an icy road and into a river. A 17-year-old girl, an 18-year-old man, a 19-year-old man and a 20-year-old man were killed.

Bill MacLean, who lost his son in a snowmobile accident in the 1990s and hosted several of the Bathurst families at the International Children's Memorial Place in Prince Edward Island, says the pain of such accidents endures.

Marr and MacLean both say each new accident dredges up painful memories.

"People say, you know, after a certain period of time you should be over it you know, but you don't get over it, you just get through it," said MacLean. "It leaves a hole in your family and you always know it's there."

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