Canadians and people from around the world are mourning the tragedy that took the lives of 15 young Humboldt Broncos hockey players in Saskatchewan who were on their way to a playoff game. The death toll has now risen to fifteen after bus they were traveling in was struck broadside by a semi-tractor trailer.
The RCMP said there were twenty-nine people onboard the bus at the time of impact. This included the players, coaching staff and driver. The crash occurred at an intersection 120 miles northeast of Saskatoon. Initially, fourteen were killed however another passed away from his injuries while in hospital shortly after the accident. An additional fifteen were being treated for injuries, three of which are classified as critical. The photos taken of the accident scene show devastation and are suggestive that the impact tore the bus in two. There was debris strewn across the highway, and surrounding area and the semi-trailer could be seen on its side.
RCMP Not Releasing Names of Victims
The RCMP has not released the names of the victims out of respect for privacy and compassion. Families were in the process of being notified with many of those coming from Western Canada and all between the ages of 16-21.
At this stage of the investigation, it is too early to determine what caused the accident or who was at fault. There are reports that state Darcy Haugan, Head Coach of Humboldt was among those killed as well as team captain, Logan Schatz.
Team officials are struggling to deal with the impact and loss of the accident and have stated their main priority is the community and player families. They released a statement that said “We are heartbroken and completely devastated by the tragedy that occurred yesterday. We will never forget 6 April 2018. We will never forget the members of our Broncos family who were taken from us …We will persevere, and we will honour the souls who were lost.”
Kevin Garinger, Team President said the team were close a known well in the small farming community. The crash had families rushing to the area to check on their children, many in fear of what they would find. An emergency crisis team is on hand to help the grieving families and those impacted within the community.
Parents and community members were gathering at the local church to provide support and help in any way possible and local area hotels offered families free accommodation. The entire country has been impacted by the accident, and a GoFundMe page has been started with the goal of raising $4 million to help families with over $3, 629,000 already being donated in 24 hours.
Condolences Coming From Around the World
Condolences are coming in from across Canada, the U.S and the rest of the world in what is one of the worse sport team accidents in history. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said, “An entire country is in shock and mourning. Our national hockey family is a close one, with roots in almost every town – small and big – across Canada. Humboldt is no exception, and today the country and the entire hockey community stands with you.”