April 12, 2018
From Globe & Mail
- Sixteen people are dead after a collision on Friday between a Saskatchewan junior hockey team’s bus and a tractor-trailer in rural Saskatchewan.
- The death toll increased on Wednesday after Dayna Brons, the athletic therapost for the Humboldt Broncos, died. Her family said she was previously in a coma with serious head trauma.
- A 16-year-old player was among the dead, which included the coach, assistant coach, bus driver and a team announcer. The tractor-trailer driver survived. Here is what The Globe and Mail has compiled so far about the 16 people killed.
- The tractor-trailer involved in the crash belonged to a Calgary-based trucking company, Adesh Deol Trucking Ltd., which had its licence suspended.
- The semi-trailer driver is a 30-year-old man who just started working for Adesh Deol a month ago. He completed 15 days of training about two weeks ago, the company’s owner said.
- Two of the Humboldt Broncos players were initially misidentified, the provincial Justice Ministry announced Monday: Goalie Parker Tobin was killed and defenceman Xavier Labelle is alive, not the other way around, as originally reported. The coroner’s office apologized for the error and said it would review its identification practices.
- The intersection outside Tisdale, Sask., had been the site of another collision 21 years ago that killed six people.
- A fundraising campaign for the survivors and victims’ families has become GoFundMe’s most successful Canadian fundraiser ever, raising more than $9-million by Thursday.
Where and how it happened
The crash: On Friday afternoon, the Broncos junior hockey team of Humboldt, Sask., were en route to a playoff game in Nipawin. Twenty-nine people were on board the team bus. At the intersection of Highway 35 and Highway 335, about 300 kilometres north of Regina, the bus collided with a tractor-trailer hauling peat moss.
Both vehicles were obliterated by the impact. The tractor-trailer driver, who worked for a Calgary-based company, was unhurt, and was given mental-health assistance after the collision, the RCMP said. Adesh Deol Trucking Ltd., which passed recent inspections and had a clear record aside from two tickets issued earlier this year, had its licence suspended — something Alberta Transport described as routine.
The cause: The RCMP said on the weekend that it was too early to comment on the cause of the collision, or say if any charges would be considered.
The intersection: Dubbed the Armley Corner, the intersection has been the site of a deadly collision before: In the summer of 1997, a couple, their three young daughters and a relative were killed in a crash there. When the Broncos bus passed through the intersection northbound on Hwy. 35, it would have had the right of way; the semi trailer, heading west, would have had a stop sign.
Who was killed
The 16 people killed in the crash included many young players, their coach, a play-by-play radio announcer, an 18-year-old stats-keeper and a bus driver.
Here is more background compiled by The Globe about them.
TEAM PLAYERS KILLED
- Logan Boulet, 21, of Lethbridge, Alta.
- Adam Herold, 16, of of Montmartre, Sask.
- Logan Hunter, 18, of St. Albert, Alta.
- Jaxon Joseph, 20, of Edmonton
- Jacob Leicht, 19, of Humboldt, Sask.
- Conner Lukan, 21, of Slave Lake, Alta.
- Logan Schatz, 20, of Allan, Sask.
- Evan Thomas, 18, of Saskatoon
- Parker Tobin, 18, of Stony Plain, Alta.
- Stephen Wack, 21, of St. Albert, Alta.
TEAM PERSONNEL KILLED
- Tyler Bieber, announcer, 29, of Humboldt, Sask.
- Dayna Brons, team trainer, 24, of Lake Lenore, Sask.
- Mark Cross, assistant coach, 27, of Strasbourg, Sask.
- Darcy Haugan, head coach, 42, of Humboldt, Sask.
- Brody Hinz, stats expert, 18, of Humboldt, Sask.
- Glen Doerksen, bus driver, 59, of Carrot River, Sask.
Tributes in the community
Humboldt, population 6,000, quickly united in support of their lost loved ones. Flags were put at half-mast, residents wore jerseys and team colours and many gathered spontaneously at the Broncos’ home arena to pay their respects, comfort one another or just sit in the seats and look out at the empty ice.
The Elgar Petersen Arena became a hall of mourning where residents gathered on Sunday night. Among those in attendance were Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe and hockey broadcasters Don Cherry and Ron MacLean.
“God, we are hurt,” Sean Brandow, a pastor and the team’s chaplain, said during the prayer service. “There are so many questions, so many unanswered things. We need you so badly.”
The tragedy was an especially personal one for teams who rely on long trips in a team bus – a rite of passage once nicknamed the “Iron Lung” – to compete in faraway places and come home safely. Humboldt’s tragedy was a nightmare scenario, Kelly McCrimmon, owner of the Western Hockey League’s Brandon Wheat Kings, told The Globe:
This is a real-life story. It’s every parent’s worst nightmare. Anyone in hockey who goes through that stage where they ride the bus, later on they look back and talk about it being the best part. … You’re supposed to feel safe on the bus.
For the Nipawin Hawks, the team the Broncos was facing off with in the playoffs, the most meaningful way to move forward was to get back on the ice. Later this week, the Hawks will play the Estevan Bruins in a championship final game, by a unanimous decision from the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League’s president and governors.
How you can help
A GoFundMe campaign is raising funds for those affected by the tragedy. By Thursday, more than $9-million had been donated, making it Canada’s most generous GoFundMe campaign ever. Here’s some more background on how fundraising campaigns of that size are typically handled and what organizers’ options are for disbursing the money.
One of the Broncos players who was killed, Logan Boulet, was an organ donor, and his death has sparked conversations among people wanting to become donors themselves. Ontario’s organ-donation agency told The Canadian Press that online registrations nearly tripled Sunday compared with two weeks earlier.