Book detailing Broncos tragedy pulled after family backlash

By Chris Vandenbreekel/CKOM News Staff
October 10, 2018 - 6:03am

A book detailing the history of the Humboldt Broncos and the lives of those killed and injured in April’s bus tragedy is being pulled from store shelves after an outcry from families.

Humble Beginnings of the Humboldt Broncos and the 2017-2018 Team, by Barry Heath, was published in September but quickly received backlash for being released too soon and without the permission of family members.

A large portion of the book focuses on those affected by the April 6 crash near Melfort, which killed 16 people and injured 13 others.

Several parents, including Toby Boulet, shared a message on social media asking people not to buy the book.

They said Heath, a doctor and former community coroner, had approached some families for input but most refused.

“The families were not ready to tell the collective story about the tragic day in April,” Boulet — who lost his son Logan in the crash — wrote on Facebook.

“Dr. Heath DID NOT listen and he could not wait as he wanted to be the first one to write the story.”

He continued, saying Heath is using “celebrity endorsements” instead of endorsements from the 29 families.

“Without such endorsement, this book is nothing but a grab at the headline by a person that is not connected at all to the tragedy other than he inserted himself into the tragedy,” Boulet wrote.

In an interview with 650 CKOM on Tuesday Scott Thomas, whose son Evan died in the April tragedy, said he had been approached by Heath in May but wasn’t able to meet with him to discuss the book.

Despite not being consulted, Thomas said his son was written about anyway.

“For us just to see Evan’s name at the top of a chapter, we weren’t happy with it,” he said.

He noted the book was probably best left to being written at a later date, which is what most families told Heath.

They collectively feel like the author moved too soon.

“He wanted to be the first out with it, and that’s the one (point) that’s really upset most of the families,” Thomas said.

In a brief conversation with 650 CKOM, Heath said he’s been informed that Chapters Indigo is pulling the book from store shelves after being contacted by the families of the Broncos.

He said he’s working on apologizing to those affected, and he isn’t actively seeking another seller.

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