14 killed as Canada ice hockey team's bus crashes

Eileen GuzmanApr 10, 2018

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), which said determining the cause of the accident would require some time, did not say how numerous victims were players or coaches of the Humboldt Broncos team, which hails from a town of 6,000 people. Curtis Zablocki, assistant commissioner of the Saskatchewan RCMP, said the driver is being provided with mental health and wellness assistance.

"Our Broncos family is in shock as we try to come to grips with our incredible loss", team president Kevin Garinger said in a statement."The Humboldt Broncos organization has experienced incredible tragedy", he said. While most of the players were from elsewhere in western Canada, they were put up by families in the small town of Humboldt. RCMP have said that at least three of the injuries are critical. The Locke family hosted Joseph and treated him like a son.

Names of the dead haven't all been released pending notification of family members this morning, but more and more news is trickling in via social media, and the reports are all very, very grim.

Among those killed were the team's head coach Darcy Haugan and captain Logan Schatz, Associated Press reported.

"Words can not describe the sadness in our community tonight", Humboldt Mayor Rob Muench said in a tweet.

Flowers ringed the team logo at center ice. In front of them, there were pictures of the dead and injured.

Canada's prime minister Justin Trudeau was due to attend a vigil in Humboldt on Sunday night. The Saskatchewan league is a feeder system for higher levels of hockey with many graduating to play at USA and Canadian colleges and major junior league level, while some go on to the National Hockey League.

Pastor Jordan Gadsby at the Apostolic Church in Nipawin said more than a hundred people had gathered at the church - including parents and grandparents of the players who were on the bus.

Forwards Jacob Leicht, Logan Hunter and Conner Lukan and defensemen Stephen Wack, Adam Herold, Logan Boulet and Xavier Labelle were also among the dead, according to family members and others.

An online fundraising campaign for the affected players and their families, with an initial target of $10,000, was set up late on Friday by the mother of a former Broncos teammate. "This is going to be a long haul for us".

Players become part of the community fabric, doing volunteer work or serving in restaurants, he said.

The bus was driving the team to a crucial playoff game Friday against the Nipawin Hawks.

"They lost them all", Mattock said.

Michelle Straschnitzki, who lives in Airdrie, Alberta, said her 18-year old son Ryan was transported to a hospital in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. They had the blond hair that was supportive of their team for their playoff run.

The home page of the team's website was replaced with a silhouette of a man praying beneath the Broncos' logo of a mustang. "From the Wolverine family to the Humboldt family to the hockey world, the Wolverines are mourning along with all of them".

That is especially true of Humboldt, a town of less than 6,000 people in Canada's Great Plains region.

The bus crash tragedy has left ice hockey made Canada stunned.

"It's an energy that spreads through the town", he said.

"The worst part of the night was watching parents waiting for news of their kids", he said.

The driver of the tractor-trailer was not injured in the collision, Zablocki said. "It's too early to comment on the cause of the collision".

Photographs of the wreckage showed the twisted trailer with most of its wheels in the air and the bus on its side with its back portion destroyed. Twenty-nine people were on the bus.

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