Today marks the 10-year anniversary of the Bathurst tragedy.
In the early hours of January 12, 2008, seven teenagers with the Bathurst High School basketball team and their coach's wife died tragically when their school van, just minutes from their homes on their way back from a game in Moncton, collided with a transport truck during a snowstorm. The impact shattered the lives of eight families and their community, and it continues to resonate across the country today.
Richard Foot, a journalist who covered the tragedy, wrote a detailed account examining the shocking absence in most provinces of legal safety regimes to protect children travelling to extra-curricular events and what two mothers decided to do about it.
Ana Acevedo and Isabelle Hains, who both lost their sons in the Bathurst crash, forged a bond and, in the midst of their grieving, took on the government in an extraordinary, emotional crusade to make travel safer for children in New Brunswick and across Canada. Their campaign highlighted a need for change to school transportation policies governing what vehicles can be used, how those vehicles are maintained, who can drive them, and in what kind of weather. In response to the mothers’ campaign, a federal-provincial transport panel recommended the creation of a national, harmonized, extra-curricular transport policy, the first national standard of this kind.
Driven reveals the truth behind one of this country's worst school tragedies and reminds us of the importance of keeping our children safe. It was shortlisted for the East Coast Literary Award and the Evelyn Richardson Prize for Non-Fiction.
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