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UPDATE: Semi-Tractor Trailer, Humboldt Broncos Bus Collide 15 Dead; 14 Injured

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The death toll has increased according to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police who indicated a 15th member of the Humboldt Broncos has died. Fourteen others suffered injuries when a semi-truck collided with the passenger bus carrying the team.

Canadian Prime Minister Justine Trudeau twitted his condolences, I cannot imagine what these parents are going through, and my heart goes out to everyone affected by this terrible tragedy, in the Humboldt community and beyond. @JustinTrudeau

National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman released the following statement through Twitter on the tragedy involving the Humboldt Broncos Hockey Team: “Our thoughts are with the players, families, coaches, team management and all those throughout the community who have been affected by the tragedy involving the Humboldt Broncos Hockey Team. The NHL mourns the passing of those who perished and offers strength and comfort top those injured while traveling to play and be a part of the game they loved.” @NHL

The USA Hockey League also posted condolences on Twitter: “USA Hockey sends its deepest condolences to the Humboldt Broncos, the families and the entire Humboldt community. The hockey world is behind you.” @USAHockey

Unimaginable Horror

Photographs from the scene show mangled mental, the 18 wheeler semi flipped with wheels up, the passenger bus appears to be split in two. First Responders and RCMP indicted the Big Rig T-Boned the passenger bus which would cause the vehicle to bend at the point of impact and possibly split, depending on the speed of the striking vehicle.


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The Humboldt Broncos, a Junior "A" league team under the Canadian Junior Hockey League, is open to exceptional players born in North America between 16 years-old and 21 years-old. The team members involved were from Edmonton, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, who parents send to Humboldt, deep in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan were they are housed locally by families.

There were 29 persons confirmed on the passenger bus at the time of the accident. Parents from across Western Canada have been rushing to the city of Nipawin.

A Nation in Mourning

Humboldt Head Coach Darcy Haugan, who has been described as a guiding force for these young players, has been confirmed as one of the deceased. Mark Cross, the Broncos Assistant Coach was also among the deceased.

Defencemen Logan Boulet, was catastrohpically injured and is on life support. He made the decision on his 21st Birthday to give the gift of life and donate his organs. His heart has remained strong according to a statement issued by his family.

"Despite other media reports today, Logan’s strong heart continues to beat this evening.  The final harvesting of Logan’s organs will take place overnight, now that he has positive matches for all organs donated.  He is giving new hope to at least six different people. Logan made it clear previously that he signed his donor card as soon as he turned 21. Even in his eventual passing, he will be a selfless hero."

Team Captain Logan Schatz and nine other players including Edmonton native Jaxon Joseph, the son of former Edmonton Oilers defenceman Chris Joseph, and Adam Herold, the youngest player on the team who had been called up just a few weeks ago were confirmed deceased.

Left-Winger Bronco Conner Lukan, of Alberta, Canada and Jacob Leicht, also a Left-Winger, Evan Thomas and Logan Hunter both Right-Winger's, and Defencemen Stephen Wack and Goaltender Parker Tobin, were among the team players who died in the crash

Radio play-by-play announcer Tyler Bieber and Brody Heinz, a statistician from the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey team are also among those who have been confirmed as deceased.

Glen Doerksen, the bus driver, also perished.

The driver of the truck involved was detained and released. The cause has not been determined. The Semi-trailer should have had to come to a full stop before entering Highway #35. The force of the crash imploded the trailer rig portion of the semi and forced the passenger bus into a ditch, on its side.

By morning next of kin notifications had been made and surviving players, three of whom have been described as critical, have been reunited with parents and housing families. Stars Air Ambulance confirmed four passengers had been airlifted from the scene.

An attending physicican described the scene as liken to a bomb strike. 


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RCMP indicated the horrific crash occurred at 5:00PM Friday evening on Highway #35 approximately 22 miles north of Tisdale where the Humboldt Broncs were on their way to Game 5 of the Semi-finals against Nipawin Hawks.

Hockey players from Canadian’s Junior leagues go on to play in the NHL and other professional Hockey leagues around the world. They train in sub-zero conditions for the love of the game. Players are housed away from home, leaving family behind for the chance to follow their dreams. For some those dream ended Friday evening.

Image coutesy of The Humbolt Broncos and used with permission.

 

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