New Brunswick

Bathurst will remember Boys in Red with day of mourning in January

The city of Bathurst will have a day of mourning on the tenth anniversary of accident that killed seven high school basketball players and the coach's wife, launching an annual memorial event.

Flags on city buildings will fly at half mast to remember 7 high school basketball players and coach's wife

Jan. 12, 2018 will mark the tenth anniversary of the accident that killed seven Bathurst High School basketball players and the coach's wife with an inaugural annual event.

The city of Bathurst will hold a day of mourning on Jan. 12 from now on to remember seven high school basketball players — remembered as the Boys In Red — and their coach's wife, who died when their 15-passenger van collided with a transport truck nearly 10 years ago.   

Mayor Paolo Fongemie says flags will fly at half mast on city buildings every year on the date in memory of Javier Acevedo, Codey Branch, Nathan Cleland, Justin Cormier, Daniel Hains, all 17 and Nicholas Kelly, 15, Nickolas Quinn, who was 16, and Elizabeth Lord, 51. 

"We did get some requests from community groups about how that sad anniversary would be marked in the city," said Fongemie. 

Still a sensitive issue

The mayor said the losses are still painful for the families, community, and first responders to remember, especially on the anniversary. 

"So we decided to do something symbolic with a day of mourning for our community and have the flags at half mast through our community with the city buildings," he said. 

"It's a way to always remember this tragic day and also to pay our respect to the families and the first responders and everyone in the community." 

The mayor said while it is still a sensitive issue, the idea of a day of mourning has been well received.

"Every year re-opens the wounds for our community and we still have first responders affected by this tragedy. So having a day of mourning and flying the flags half mast keeps it more as a solemn way of paying respects."