Our condolences to the families affected by this terrible tragedy!
More victims have been identified after the Humboldt Broncos junior hockey team bus crash that killed 14 people.
The RCMP confirmed 14 fatalities and 15 injuries in the collision in Saskatchewan on Friday.
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Head coach Darcy Haugan was one of the victims who died when the bus collided with a semi-trailer.
Tyler Bieber, who worked with Humboldt radio station 107.5 Bolt FM, is also confirmed dead.
Broncos player Logan Schatz, 20, was killed in the crash. A close family friend said Matthieu Gomercic, from Winnipeg, survived the crash with “minor injuries.”
Derek Patter, Greyson Cameron and Nick Shumlanski also were among the injured.
Police say there were 29 people on the bus at the time of the crash, including the driver. Three of the injuries are critical. RCMP is working with partner agencies to notify and support families and has not yet released information about who was killed or injured.
A GoFundMe page raising money for families affected by the crash had raised $337,267 of its $500,000 goal by 10 a.m. Saturday, 13 hours after it was created.
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Tom Straschnitzki, the father of Ryan Straschnitzki, one of the players injured in the crash, said his son suffered a severe back injury.
“He’s alive and breathing, and from what we know he has a broken back, and as of now, can’t feel anything from his waist down.”
“I think he’s still in shock, still asking how everyone is and who perished and who didn’t.”
“He remembers he was in the middle of the bus and then he remembers waking up when the paramedics took him off the bus … and he said, ‘I thought the semi T-boned right in the middle,’ but he said, ‘no, it was in the front of the bus.'”
Tom and his wife will be leaving Airdrie, Alta., today to see their son.
‘It’s going to hit the community hard’
Humboldt Mayor Rob Muench said he first heard about the crash on social media.
“It was horrifying,” he said, noting there are a few “local kids” on the team.
“It’s going to hit the community hard.”
A team bus carrying fans was also headed to Nipawin for the game.
The Nipawin Apostolic Church, located at 109 Fourth Avenue East, is serving as a gathering place for families, and more information will be shared there, according to the RCMP. Emergency services and Victim Services representatives will also be on site.
Pastor Jordan Gadsby said that around 100 people were gathered before 9 p.m. CST, including families from Humboldt.
The community was coming out to help, with local grocery stores bringing food, while others brought phone chargers and help to connect families with relatives.
Those who had heard news about their loved ones quickly left to go to nearby hospitals, while others were still waiting to hear news, he said.
Parents and family of individuals seeking information about their family members who may have been in the collision can call 306-752-8700.
The Saskatchewan Health Authority issued a statement Saturday commending medical workers for their response to the crash.
“They, along with other emergency services including police, fire departments and STARS, came together as one single team to provide care and comfort to those affected by this terrible event,” said chief executive officer Scott Livingstone.
The health authority said it has sent counsellors to various affected sites to provide support.
This is the second time a Saskatchewan team with the name “Broncos” has been involved in a highway crash.
The Swift Current Broncos bus crash occurred in December 1986, killing four members of the Western Hockey League team. A memorial was placed at the site of the crash, about four kilometres east of Swift Current.