Funds from all corners of the country and beyond are pouring in for the families of a Saskatchewan junior hockey team following a tragic crash that has left 14 dead.
The Junior Hockey League’s Humboldt Broncos were en route to Nipawin, Sask., for a playoff game when a semi-truck collided with the bus.
In wake of the crash, more than $270,000 has been raised as of Saturday morning, through a gofundme account created by Humboldt resident Sylvie Kellington Friday night.
Kellington said her son was on the Broncos Bantam A team this past season.
@Burrardslax donate $1000 dollars to assist the needs of the families suffering this unthinkable tragedy in Saskatchewan and around Canada @OffTheCrosseBar please put this out to all WLA and MLL teams to follow suit #prayforhumboldt
— Burrards DolceDiet (@dazzle_lax) April 7, 2018
READ MORE: “It’s a horrible accident, my God.”
RCMP confirmed that 14 people have died but have not released information on the identities of the deceased, adding that 14 others were taken to hospital and three are in critical condition.
Family members confirmed on social media Friday night that the head coach, Darcy Haugan, was among the dead.
This is so horrible. Darcy Haugan was a great coach and a great person. One of major reasons I felt comfortable in my year covering his team– my first real job out of university. A great man. https://t.co/WZYRMFOG6N
— Nick Greenizan (@ngreenizan) April 7, 2018
Humboldt Mayor Rob Muench said in a statement Friday night that community members gathered at the Uniplex arena, awaiting news and further details.
“Words cannot describe the sadness in our community tonight,” he said.
Humboldt, located at the junction of Highway 5 and Highway 20, has a population of roughly 5,600 people.
The team is expected to host a media conference at 12 p.m. PST along with the Humboldt city officials.
Here are some facts about the team:
- The Humboldt Broncos were travelling to Nipawin for Game 5 of their SJHL semifinal. The Nipawin Hawks lead the best-of-seven series 3-1 after losing Game 4 in triple overtime. The game was officially postponed by the junior-A league Friday night. Game 6 was scheduled for Sunday in Humboldt. The Estevan Bruins had already advanced to the championship final.
- The Broncos are the most successful team in Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League history. Humboldt has won the league championship 10 times and the RBC Cup, Canada’s junior A championship, twice since its inception in 1996.
- The Broncos have produced six NHLers since the team was founded in 1970. Curt Giles, Bill McDougall, Sheldon Brookbank, Terry Ruskowski, Neil Hawryliw and Grant Jennings got their start in elite-level hockey in Humboldt. Jennings went on to have the most successful career in the NHL, playing in 389 games with the Washington Capitals, Hartford Whalers, Pittsburgh Penguins and Toronto Maple Leafs. He won two Stanley Cups with the Penguins in 1991 and 1992.
- Although Humboldt, Sask., had been home to several junior-A teams dating back to the 1940s, the Broncos didn’t get their start until 1970 when a group of local hockey organizers put together a new team for the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League. The Humboldt group took the Swift Current Broncos up on their offer of an affiliation between the Western Canada Hockey League Broncos and a new junior-A club. The team in Swift Current provided Bronco sweaters and the Humboldt team was originally associated with nearby St. Peter’s College, an affiliate of the University of Saskatchewan that operated a boys high school program until 1972.
- Six players from this year’s Humboldt Broncos roster had committed to playing for post-secondary schools next season. Michael Korol and Connor Swystun had signed on to play for Norwich University in Vermont (NCAA Div. III). Garrett Mason (Trinity Western University – BCIHL), Parker Wakaruk (Selkirk College – BCIHL), Luke Kempf (Southern Alberta Institute of Technology- ACAC) and Trevor Posch (Southern Alberta Institute of Technology) had also committed to play in post-secondary leagues.
With files from The Canadian Press