14 dead after truck hits bus carrying hockey team

Brenda Watkins
April 10, 2018

As well the Jets said all money raised by the 50/50 draw at the game would be donated to the Humboldt Broncos. Fourteen of them were killed, including the driver, and the other 14 had been taken to hospital, three of them in critical condition.

"In most cases they become like one of your children or grandchildren", said Gail Chilman, a billeting co-ordinator with the Estevan Bruins, a team in the same league as the Broncos. Twenty-nine people were on the bus. Initially, police reported 14 fatalities.

Expressions of support poured in, much of it focused on a Twitter photo that showed three injured players grasping each other's hands while lying on hospital beds.

The driver of the semi was not injured and was taken into custody following the collision, he has since been released and is now receiving mental health supports. He was detained initially but is not now in custody and his case is not now being investigated as a criminal investigation. "Horrific, horrific accident. Tough day", Babcock said.

According to CTV, the bus was T-boned by a tractor trailer traveling westbound on Highway 35.

The Broncos were on their way to play in Game 5 of a semi-final against the Nipawin Hawks.

It was to be Game 5 of the semifinal series of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League playoffs. "It hits home for a lot of people in the hockey community. Our thoughts and prayers are with the players and we ask that you join us in a moment of silence for all those who have been affected", Nolan said.

The mayor of Humboldt, Rob Muench, said he spoke to Trudeau, who relayed condolences from other world leaders. "Throughout Canada, we see teams going out into the Canadian winters on buses all the time".

"We are going to do what we think is right", Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League president Bill Chow stated. The team includes 24 players, ages ranging from 16 to 21. So I grew up in Humboldt. Most of the others list their hometowns as being in the province of Alberta.

"Humboldt Broncos weighing heavy in our hearts and minds tonight", the team said on Twitter.

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"God bless Darcy Haugan for being an incredible mentor and coach to young hockey players and prayers for his family to help cope with their vast loss", the Western Provinces Hockey Association wrote on Twitter.

The home of the team at the Elger Petersen Arena in the eastern Saskatchewan town had flowers placed on the stairs in the rink stands Saturday morning, the railings are wrapped in yellow and green ribbon to honour the team.

"We were a family", Daigon Elny, was a member of the team a year ago, told CBC at the arena.

"We just opened our building here with food and drinks ... they can come if they need somewhere to go or someone to talk to", he said.

Garinger said he and family members are waiting to get more information. The Associated Press reported that a radio announcer for the team had also died in the crash.

"An entire country is in shock and mourning", Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in a statement today.

President Trump tweeted Saturday that he spoke with Trudeau to "pay my highest respect and condolences to the families of the awful Humboldt Team tragedy". Trump concluded the tweet saying, "May God be with them all!"

Hassan Masri, an emergency room doctor at Saskatoon's Royal University Hospital who has done work in war-torn Syria, said the crash reminded him of an airstrike. "I can't imagine anything more heartbreaking and heart-wrenching".

The collision happened at about 5pm local time on Friday near the town of Tisdale.

Friday's fatal smash brought back memories of a single vehicle bus crash in December 1986, also in Saskatchewan, that killed four members of the Western Hockey League Swift Current Broncos.

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