WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- Canadians mourn Saturday after a bus carrying the Humboldt Broncos junior hockey team collided with a semi-trailer on Friday evening, leaving 15 people dead and 14 injured.
- The team had been traveling to a play-off game against the Nipawin Hawks when the accident happened around 5:00 p.m. on Highway 35 about 30 kilometers north of Tisdale.
- The 15 fatalities included 10 players, two coaches, a volunteer statistician, a broadcaster, and the bus driver.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) initially reported 14 people had been killed in the crash, but on Saturday afternoon a news release confirmed that another person had died.
Fourteen other passengers on the bus were injured, some critically. The driver, the lone occupant of the tractor-trailer, was not injured.
Dr. Hassan Masri, the critical care physician who attended to the victims posted a message on Facebook about the Code Orange event.
“Last night can only be described as the longest, worst and most tragic night of my career,” he wrote. “The images can’t be unseen or forgotten, the stories can’t be unheard or ignored.”
“Meeting each family and explaining the extent of each injury was nothing short of a painful exercise of cruelty. Families waiting for hours to identify their loved ones and smiling of joy at the idea of a significant injury as long as it meant that their loved one was alive brought chills to my spine,” Masri added.
Authorities have confirmed the identities of the 15 fatalities, including three-year head coach and general manager Darcy Haugan. He earned a Hockey Alberta’s prestigious Meritorious Award for contribution to the game of hockey in 2015 and led the Humboldt Broncos to a 33-19-3-3 record this season.
Also among the fatalities were: Glen Doerksen, the bus driver; Brody Hinz, a volunteer statistician; assistant coach Mark Cross; and Tyler Bieber, a play-by-play commentary broadcaster for the Humboldt Broncos.
Humboldt Broncos players who died include team captain Logan Schatz; defensemen Logan Boulet, Xavier Labelle, Jaxon Joseph, Adam Herold, and Stephen Wack; left-winger Jacob Leicht; forward Conner Lukan; right-wingers Logan Hunter and Evan Thomas.
Humboldt players range in age from 16 to 21.
Relatives, friends, and supporters gathered at the Elgar Petersen Arena in Humboldt comforting each other, offering tight hugs.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted, “I couldn’t imagine what the parents were going through, and my heart goes out to everyone affected by this terrible tragedy, in the Humboldt community and beyond.”