Pa­rade tragedy re­minder of 2011 ac­ci­dent

Car­bon­ear man died in float ac­ci­dent fol­low­ing 2011 Santa Claus pa­rade

The Compass - - Front page - BY AN­DREW ROBIN­SON edi­[email protected]­n­com­pass.ca

The death of a young girl at a Christ­mas pa­rade in Nova Sco­tia brought back mem­o­ries of a tragic ac­ci­dent fol­low­ing a pa­rade in Car­bon­ear.

“It changes things for a lot of peo­ple. I’m sure the town of Yar­mouth, that will be over their heads for a long time.”

Bruno Re­ichel

Ev­ery De­cem­ber, Bruno Re­ichel and other mem­bers of the Relic Rid­ers Mo­tor­cy­cle Club gather at the grave­stone of their late friend, Kevin “Pop­eye” Tobin.

When the cal­en­dar hits Dec. 11 this year, it will have been seven years since the 41-yearold hus­band and fa­ther trag­i­cally died fol­low­ing the Car­bon­ear Santa Claus pa­rade. RCMP re­ported he fell off the Relic Rid­ers’ float as it was mak­ing a turn on Ade­laide Street. He was pro­nounced dead at the scene. The group’s club­house was a short dis­tance from where the tragedy oc­curred.

Un­for­tu­nately, Re­ichel was re­minded again of his friend’s death fol­low­ing the events of the Christ­mas pa­rade in Yar­mouth, Nova Sco­tia on Satur­day, Nov. 24. There, a four-year-old girl watch­ing the pa­rade fell un­der a float. She died from her in­juries, leav­ing a fam­ily and com­mu­nity to mourn. Since then, there has been an out­pour­ing of sup­port for the fam­ily of MaCali Cormier. “I’m just think­ing of the fam­ily of the lit­tle child that was killed and what the fam­ily of Kevin Tobin went through at the time,” Re­ichel, pres­i­dent of the Relic Rid­ers, told The Com­pass. “It was quite dev­as­tat­ing.”

So much so that the Relic Rid­ers could never bring them­selves to take part in another Santa Claus pa­rade. Af­ter wit­ness­ing what hap­pened to Tobin, the thought of be­ing in­volved in the event be­came too much for them to bear.

“We used to do the pa­rade ev­ery year,” Re­ichel re­called. “Kids seemed to love mo­tor­cy­cles and the type of floats that we used to do, and we al­ways used to win first or sec­ond prize in the Car­bon­ear pa­rade. And some­times we did the Harbour Grace pa­rade too … Ev­ery year when the pa­rade goes on, we go to the grave­yard. It’s a lit­tle thing for us. We haven’t done (the pa­rade) since be­cause we just can’t do it any­more.”

A can­dle­light vigil for MaCali was held Mon­day evening, with hun­dreds show­ing up to sup­port the girl’s fam­ily. A fu­neral for the girl is sched­uled for Thurs­day morn­ing, Nov. 29.

“It changes things for a lot of peo­ple. I’m sure the town of Yar­mouth, that will be over their heads for a long time,” said Re­ichel. “It’s a shame. But life goes on for kids and Christ­mas. It still has to go on.”

PHOTO COUR­TESY FAM­ILY

MaCali Cormier died af­ter she fell un­der a pa­rade float in Yar­mouth, Nova Sco­tia, on Satur­day, Nov. 24. She was four.

COM­PASS FILE PHOTO

Kevin Tobin’s fu­neral was held in Car­bon­ear three days af­ter his tragic death.

CON­TRIB­UTED PHOTO

Kevin “Pop­eye” Tobin

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