April 21, 2018

Death toll rises to 15 in Canadian junior hockey team bus crash

09 April 2018, 12:32 | Lionel James

Arena to host vigil for Humboldt Broncos victims

Humboldt Broncos Crash

During the clashes killed at least 14 people.

HUMBOLDT, Saskatchewan (Reuters) - Fifteen people were killed when a bus carrying a Canadian junior ice hockey team collided with a truck in Saskatchewan province, police said on Saturday, in one of the worst disasters to strike Canada's sporting community.

"We weren't together for a very long time, but Jaxon was and will always be a brother to me", Ross tweeted Saturday morning.

It was just a few weeks ago that Williams Lake hockey players filled buses themselves and hit the road for playoffs.

"I can't imagine being the parent or the wife or the kids at home going through something like this", Toronto Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock said at a press conference.

"The hockey world is an unbelievable world". You can't make up for loss.

"I think one thing that we underestimate with the impact of trauma, and PTSD, and going through things like this, is the magnitude of the impact", he says. A horrific, horrific accident.

"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 frightful tragedy", Kevin Garinger, the team's president, said in a statement.

"The NHL mourns the passing of those who perished and offers strength and comfort to those injured while travelling to play and be part of a game they all love", Mr Bettman said in a statement.

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The players had been on their way to compete in Game 5 of a playoff series against the Nipawin Hawks when the bus they were traveling in collided with a semi-trailer. Police has identified the identities of the deceased on the bus which was carrying Humboldt Broncos hockey team.

The crash occurred on Highway 35 in Saskatchewan, approximately 105 miles into the 125-mile trip to Nipawin's arena. "And we try and look out for each other".

Colorado Avalanche coach Jared Bednar grew up in Humboldt.

"That's my hometown, eh?" I don't know them, gone and alive, but I know what they are. ". The bulk of my childhood was in that city". "Young men from Alberta, Saskatchewan and across Western Canada play for the Broncos and even more have dreamed of playing for the Broncos".

"I know what that team means to that town". He said a friend's son plays goaltender for the Broncos and survived the crash. He went to surgery last night in Saskatoon, and hopefully he's doing better. "It's a tough time for that town".

Bulldogs head coach John Gruden says the hockey community is a tight-knit group, he is not surprised by the outpouring of emotion and support.

"We were a family", a former Broncos player, Daigon Elmy, told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

Humboldt, which began play in 1970, has missed the playoffs just once since its 1980 season - in 2015-16 - and has had eight alums reach the National Hockey League.

Gallagher said he and each of his Canadiens teammates pledged to a GoFundMe page set up late Friday as news of the incident spread to hockey communities North America. The ECHL announced that they would be joining the hockey community in observing a moment of silence before each of their games as well. "It's a terrible accident and we're all thinking about them".

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