P.E.I. memorial remembers victims of Bathurst, N.B., basketball team crash

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P.E.I. memorial remembers victims of Bathurst, N.B., basketball team crash

A group of young basketball players and a teacher who died 10 years ago Friday in New Brunswick are being remembered on Prince Edward Island.

Seven high school students and a teacher died after their passenger van collided with a transport truck in near the Bathurst, N.B., exit on Highway 8 on the way back from a game in Moncton.

There is a memorial in South Freetown, P.E.I., for the Bathurst High School boys basketball team and the teacher travelling with them.

The red plaques for the "Boys in Red" are in a circle at the International Childrens' Memorial Place. The memorial reached out to the families and planted a tree in dedication to each person. The plaques were repaired over the past year as they were put up almost a decade ago.

Bill MacLean, the founder of the Memorial Place, said families often visit or ask for pictures of the trees if they live far away.

"Trees are living and so they're a symbol of the individual's life, and it grows and grows and gets larger every year,"  MacLean said.

"People come and see the growth and relate that to their son or their daughter that has passed away, that they would have been growing too."

The hockey team that MacLean belongs to raised funds to help the parents travel to P.E.I. for the ceremony when the plaques were first installed. He said it was the first time one parent had left the house since the crash.

The forest continues to expand every year, he added.

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