Brothers remembered for their humour, faith

Joel and Daniel Roop are seen in this photo made available by their family yesterday.
Church, school community joins in mourning teens killed in van-truck crash
Moncton Times Transcript – Front page Oct 27/99
Two Moncton brothers killed in a van accident Monday were remembered yesterday as committed Christians with a zest for life.

A Moncton pastor said Joel and Daniel Roop will be missed by their church congregation at Eglise Baptiste Francaise. Rev. Robert Landry said it was a joy being around the brothers, who both had a strong desire to serve their church and shared a tremendous sense of hum-our.

“Daniel always had something funny to say, and Joel was always smiling,” Landry said.

The brothers were very active in church youth activities and summer mission tours. This past summer they spent seven weeks doing mission work with their parents, Michael and Rennie Roop, in France.

Joel was born in the Republic of Niger when his parents were doing missionary work in Africa, while Daniel was born in Moncton.

Both Joel and Daniel were musical. Joel played saxophone and bongos while Daniel played drums.

It would be understandable if people have trouble coming to terms with the death of these two young men who were apparently so full of life – especially since the cause of the accident may never be discovered.

Joel, 17; and Daniel, 15, had just left their home on Ashley Crescent in their family’s mini-van when the accident occurred on the Trans-Canada Highway. They were on their way to visit a friend’s home at the time, but the police were unsure yesterday of the exact destination.

The Roops’ mini-van was travelling east on the Trans-Canada between the Gorge and Mapleton Road exits. It suddenly left the road, veered sharply onto a grass median and flew into the path of a tractor-trailer travelling west on the four-lane highway.

The van was demolished and police said the vehicle was in such bad shape that they have no hope of telling whether the car malfunctioned in some way. Sadly, the only two witnesses who could say exactly why the vehicle left the road are now deceased.

“We’ll never know (what caused the accident). That’s what it’s going to come down to,” said Const. M Trahan of the Irishtown RCMP.

Trahan said RCMP are still in the process of interviewing some witnesses, but again these witnesses are unlikely to be able to explain what happened inside the mini-van.

- Yesterday, students at Mathieu-Martin High School in Dieppe were trying to cope with this latest tragedy. It came slightly less than two weeks after another Mathieu-Martin student, Stephan Allain, died following a motorcycle accident.

A classmate of one of the Roop brothers said the mood at the school was very depressed yesterday.

“I never thought something like this would happen,” said the teen-ager, who wished not to be identified.

Officials at Mathieu-Martin would not respond to media questions yesterday. Instead, they referred inquiries to an intervention team made up of various community organisations. The Community Partnership Committee was formed last year after a series of suicides at the school.

Alice Thériault, director of the Community Mental Health Centre in Moncton, said classes were not cancelled at the school yesterday. However, she said counsellors were available if any of the students needed help.

The brothers are now resting at Ferguson-Knowles Funeral Home at 1657 Mountain Rd. Their funeral will be held tomorrow at 4 p.m. at First United Baptist Church at the corner of Queen and Church streets.