The Current

How the Bathurst Tragedy Ignited a Crusade for Change

John Cleland's son Nathan died six years ago. So did 6 of his high school basketball teammates, and his coach's wife. The van they were travelling in crashed outside their hometown of Bathurst, New Brunswick. The accident shattered families and a close knit community. Today ... how a story of heartbreaking loss prompted a crusade for change....
School superintendent John McLaughlin looks at the van that was carrying a high school boys' basketball team that collided with a transport truck while returning from a game, in Bathurst, N.B. on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2008. (CP/Andrew Vaughan) (CBC)

John Cleland's son Nathan died six years ago. So did 6 of his high school basketball teammates, and his coach's wife. The van they were travelling in crashed outside their hometown of Bathurst, New Brunswick. The accident shattered families and a close knit community. Today ... how a story of heartbreaking loss prompted a crusade for change. 

They played as a team and rolled as a team and they went out as a team. No better way to go than to be with your friends under circumstances like this. I think that's how our families are going to get through this. - John Cleland, Father of victim Nathan Cleland

Six years ago, seven members of the Bathurst High School basketball team and the wife of the coach died after their mini-van skidded into the path of a tractor trailer. After the crash, two mothers of boys killed in the accident led a campaign to find out what happened that winter's night.

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This segment was produced by The Current's Howard Goldenthal.

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