Arabnews24 - Canada :Fifteen people were killed Friday when a bus carrying the Humboldt Broncos junior hockey team collided with a semi-trailer unit north of Tisdale. 14 others on the bus were injured, three critically. The RCMP initially reported there were 28 people on the bus, but corrected that number Saturday morning to 29.Postmedia News has confirmed the identities of three of the people on the bus who died, including head coach Darcy Haugan.Two team members, Logan Schatz and Adam Herold, 16
, also died.Kelly Schatz, Logan’s father, told The Canadian Press his 20-year-old son played for the Broncos for just over four years and had served as team captain for the past two and a half years.He says his son’s death is hard and the family members are seeking solace in one another.
There was no immediate word on the driver of the semi.Parents and family seeking information about their family members who may have been in this collision can call 306-752-8700.The father of player Derek Patter, who survived the crash, shared an image of his son and two other players in the hospital.The collision happened at about 5 p.m. Friday on Highway 35 about 30 kilometres north of Tisdale, about halfway into the Broncos’ trip to Nipawin from Humboldt for Game 5 of their Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League (SJHL) semifinal series against the Nipawin Hawks. Nipawin is about 265 kilometres northeast of Saskatoon.
Saskatchewan Heath Authority spokeswoman Jennifer Lyons said Friday night that the organization was in a “Code Orange,” meaning casualties were incoming to Royal University Hospital in Saskatoon.
Dr. Hassan Masri, a critical care physician, posted a message on Facebook on Saturday morning about his involvement in the Code Orange event.“Last night can only be described as the longest, worst and most tragic night of my career. The images can’t be unseen or forgotten, the stories can’t be unheard or ignored,” he wrote.“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.”“It’s disbelief. It’s shock. The deepest grief that you can ever imagine,” a stunned Kevin Garinger said late Friday night, while driving home to Humboldt from Swift Current.Garinger is the president of the Humboldt Broncos as well as the local school division’s director of education. He said he was in shock, and struggling to make sense of a terrible tragedy.“Our organization will never be the same,” Garinger said of the hockey club he loves, one he said aspired to make not only good hockey players but also good young men as well. “Our thoughts and prayers — everything we have in terms of our energy is directed toward trying to deal with, cope with the loss that’s occurred here,” he said. A motorist who passed the scene sent a photo of the crash site to The StarPhoenix.
Myles Shumlanski, father of Broncos player Nick Shumlanski, said he got a call from his son Friday and they picked him up.“It’s only a quarter-mile from our house,” he said.“There are casualties and it’s very bad. We were at the scene helping,” Shumlanski said.“It was a disaster,” he said. “We had a crane lifting the bus.”Shumlanski said his son was being flown to Saskatoon after receiving treatment at a hospital in Tisdale.Pastor Jordan Gadsby at the Apostolic Church in Nipawin welcomed any families to come to the church at 109 Fourth Avenue East.“We just opened our building here with food and drinks … they can come if they need somewhere to go or someone to talk to,” he said. “There’s not a lot of confirmed information at this point. Families are just waiting to hear from their kids.“There’s a lot of tears.”The Nipawin Hawks said on Facebook the game was cancelled.
“The accident being talked about involved Humboldt team bus. We ask during this time that you don’t send messages. When more information is given we will update,” the Hawks posted on Friday evening.
In Humboldt, Mayor Rob Muench said a mobile crisis centre had been set up at the city’s Uniplex Convention Centre. Muench said the centre had already started filling up with people, and that counsellors were being made available. “We’re asking people to come down to the Uniplex, Jubilee Hall or the Elgar Peterson Arena just to show some support for the community and each other,” Muench said. Canalta Hotels said on Facebook that its hotels were available Friday night at no charge for family members of anyone affected by the tragic bus crash.“If you know of a family member that’s affected by the tragic event in Saskatchewan, and needs to stay close by the hospitals — our hotels are available and we will take care of them. (No charge tonight) Our #CanaltaCares team is ready in Melfort, Humboldt Tisdale, and Martensville (Saskatoon).”SJHL President Bill Chow said he was waiting to learn more details about the crash.“I go to sleep every night worrying about the kids on buses and everybody else,” he said. “Unfortunately, this happened tonight and we’ll have to wait and see what the facts are.”
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted that he 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.”On Saturday morning, U.S. President Donal Trump tweeted that he had spoken to Trudeau to offer his condolences “to the families of the terrible Humboldt Team tragedy. May God be with them all!”
Premier Scott Moe posted a statement on Facebook, saying, “Words cannot describe the loss that we feel tonight.”The news is difficult to comprehend, he said.“To the City of Humboldt, the entire Broncos organization, and the families impacted by this tragedy, please know you are in Saskatchewan’s hearts.“From a grieving province, thank you to every one of the first responders and medical professionals for your courageous response under the most difficult circumstances imaginable.“Tonight, we all must pray for these families.”
Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations Chief Bobby Cameron said he and the FSIN executive were sending their condolences to the families.“Our hearts and prayers are with everyone suffering from this tragedy tonight” Cameron said. “It’s through sport that we realize our full potential, so in this tragedy, we all grieve with the families.”The WHL tweeted from its official Twitter page that it was keeping the Humboldt Broncos in its thoughts: “Hockey is family.”
The Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League is a Junior ’A’ hockey league under Hockey Canada, which is part of the Canadian Junior Hockey League. It’s open to North American-born players between the age of 16 and 20.Dean Brockman, former longtime coach of the Humboldt Broncos, said it was a terrible, tragic day.“Anyone who’s ever stepped on the bus to go to a game, people who have done that will recall a lot of bad memories that something almost happened or, when you look at things that did happen, or when you look at things that happened 30 years ago in Swift Current, it brings back a lot of bad memories, for sure,” he said.
Swift Current Broncos head coach Manny Viveiros said he could remember when his team’s bus crashed, and news of the Humboldt team’s tragedy made him feel “in shock.”“It’s family. It’s not just our community. It’s family,” Viveiros said.The Swift Current Broncos played the Moose Jaw Warriors Friday night in their WHL playoff series, but Warriors head coach Tim Hunter said they didn’t tell the players about the crash until after the game.“The hockey community is a very tight community and everyone is thinking about those people,” Hunter said.