Published: Sun, April 08, 2018
Sport | By Cameron Gross

Junior hockey team bus crash in Canada leaves 15 dead, 14 injured

Junior hockey team bus crash in Canada leaves 15 dead, 14 injured

A bus carrying a junior hockey team, the Humboldt Broncos, collided with a tractor-trailed in Canada on Friday evening, leaving 14 people dead.

"I just remember the chaos and the fear", he said, telling CBC News he remembers talking to his mother just after the crash. "There is no playbook on what to do in cases like this".

National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman said the NHL mourned the passing of those who died "and offers strength and comfort to those injured while traveling to play and be part of a game they loved". He spoke of the culture of Canadian junior league hockey - especially of the frequent long bus trips from game to game - that was familiar to so many people in Humboldt and beyond.

Canadian police said the truck driver was initially detained but has since been released and provided with mental health assistance.

Many have pledged donations to support their families and the surviving players.

The driver, who was the lone occupant of the tractor-trailer, was not injured in the collision, Zablocki said. The collision took place on Highway 35 north of Tisdale.

After Friday's crash Humboldt's Elgar Petersen Arena was turned into a mobile crisis unit, as people gathered to support one another.

Saturday was the final night of the regular season for most of the National Hockey League's teams. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families and communities affected by this disgusting tragedy. "Throughout Canada, we see teams going out into the Canadian winters on buses all the time". Growing up around Swift Current, it was always in people's mind.

The Humboldt Broncos are a close-knit team from the small city of Humboldt, Saskatchewan, which has a population of about 6,000.

The Broncos roster lists 24 players ranging in age from 16 to 21 years old, as well as three coaches.

"Our thoughts and prayers are extended to the families of our staff and athletes as well as to all who have been impacted by this disgusting tragedy", Kevin Garinger, the team's president, said in a statement. Every Swift Current minor hockey team, we would wear the clover with the four numbers on it. You come to the rink. what's better than that?

"I'm going to miss you bro".

Nipawin Apostolic Church lead pastor Jordan Gadsby told the BBC he opened his church to families shortly after learning of the crash.

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Expressions of sympathy poured in from around the globe.

"I can not imagine what these parents are going through, and my heart goes out to everyone affected by this tragedy, in Humboldt community and beyond", Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in a tweet late Friday.

The Kinistino Tigers, another team that Doerksen had driven for also issued a statement online.

"I can not imagine what these parents are going through, and my heart goes out to everyone affected by this bad tragedy, in the Humboldt community and beyond", Trudeau tweeted.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted: "I can not imagine what these parents are going through, and my heart goes out to everyone affected by this bad tragedy, in the Humboldt community and beyond".

The cause of the crash could not be immediately confirmed.

"There's parents, there's fans, there's friends - all they hear that there's a bus crash and there's fatalities, not knowing if it's their kid, not knowing who it is".

Friday's crash is not the first highway accident to kill hockey players in Saskatchewan.

Aerial photographs of the crash site show it happened close to a junction between two roads.

At the news conference, Garinger noted that the loss of life will be felt across Canada - and by the players' host families as well.

"The biggest thing is, we just gotta support that community right now because they're going to be needing it".

Mayor of Humboldt Rob Muench said: "It's overwhelming".

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