Tatamagouche man dies in weekend crash near Memramcook

Matt Veno webcomments@ngnews.ca
Published on March 29, 2010

A 71-year-old Nova Scotia man is dead following a single-vehicle accident in eastern New Brunswick.Police say the man's car hit the side of a ditch after leaving the Trans-Canada Highway near Memramcook, N.B., around noon Saturday.The man's car was headed eastbound at the time.The deceased has been identified as David McKeen, a businessman from Tatamagouche.

Circumstances surrounding the crash are unknown, but McKeen died at scene of the accident.

"Oh, you have no idea," said Eric McKeen, a nephew of McKeen's, of the shock of learning the news.

"He was always concerned about what went on in the community and was always willing to chip in," Eric added. "He loved the village and was proud of where he lived."

McKeen leaves behind a wife, Anne, and daughters Kristen MacKeen, a Truro resident; Keltie Smith, Tatamagouche; and Kandace MacKeen, who now lives in the United States, as well as two grandsons.

He also leaves behind the legacy of someone who was as loved by his community just as much as he loved it.

"Everyone got along with David," said Campbell Foote, who was hired by McKeen in 1981 to work at Tri-County Ford, a dealership that was started by the family in 1934 by David's father, James Alexander McKeen.

The business was always a part of David's life.

"He grew up there," Eric said.

And he eventually worked his way up to part ownership with his father. The family then sold the dealer and service centre in 1978 to the Creighton family, which still owns it today.

But that didn't mean the end of McKeen's tenure there. He remained on as parts and service manager until his retirement in 2004. He lived just across the street from the business.

"He's just been retired since," Eric said. "He just enjoyed his grandsons and helping people in the community and working around his property."

McKeen was also a member of the volunteer fire brigade and was recognized for 50 years of service last year.

"Very much so, " Foote said when asked if McKeen was someone who would be missed in the community. "Everybody knew him."

Funeral arrangements will be made in the coming days.

With files from the Canadian Press