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Tribute to late 11-year-old Barrie boy vanishes again

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A street sign in Barrie, renamed to honour 11-year-old Chase McEachern's legacy after he died in 2006, has gone missing again from an alleyway at the heart of the city's waterfront.

"It's an honour to have a street named after Chase. When we come home, we look at it, and we smile," said John McEachern, Chase's father.

The sign above Bayfield Street, known as the Chase McEachern sign, was replaced in March after it went missing in the winter and has since vanished again.

Chase died from heart complications after suddenly collapsing during gym class at his Prince of Wales Public School.

The boy's death inspired buildings across the country to have defibrillators on site to prevent similar tragedies.

Thanks to the strong campaign efforts of Chase's family, the street in downtown Barrie was named after him.

"It's something that I've very proud of. And I know his mom Dorothy is very proud of it, and his brother is very proud," said McEachern.

The family was upset to hear that the sign for his street had been missing multiple times since January and, most recently, since Easter weekend.

"I called Sergio [Morales]. And he goes, I didn't want to tell you, John. I know it would disturb you. It does," shared McEachern.

"At the end of the day, the goal is to honour Chase's memory, get the sign replaced, and make sure that the impact he had in this community and continues to have is known by Barrie residents," said Morales, a city councillor.

Morales said it costs the City less than $200 to replace the sign each time. Neither Chase's father nor the City have filed a police report.

"We're aware now that this is taking place. We'll make sure that our folks who work in that part of the city are aware of it and can keep an eye on that sign and keep it where it belongs," said Peter Leon, spokesperson with the Barrie Police Services.

Morales submitted a work order three weeks ago for another sign, so it's a matter of time before it gets replaced.

City officials say they will closely monitor the area, but the reason the sign keeps disappearing remains unknown.

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