UPDATE: Optimist Chiefs release statement on passing of Ryan McBeath

Optimist Chiefs announced on Twitter the passing of one of their captains, 17-year-old Ryan McBeath.

The Red Deer Optimist Chiefs released a statement on Twitter regarding the passing of one of their captains Ryan McBeath.

The statement was on behalf of the Chiefs coaching staff, parents and the rest of Red Deer Minor Hockey

“(We) would like to send a heart-filled thank you to everyone that has reached out and offered their condolences, thoughts, prayers and well wishes on the passing of Ryan,” the release stated. “The amount of support we have received from other hockey associations, teams in and out of our league, players, coaches, alumni, fans, friends and family has just been incredible.

The Chiefs have received messages from people all over Canada.

“It’s proof that the hockey community is a tight group of amazing people that truly care and love not only the game but the players, teammates, opponents etc.,” the release stated. “Ryan was an amazing individual with a larger than life personality, but he was an even better teammate. He card so much about his brothers on the team and would do absolutely anything for them and anything our coaching staff asked of him.”

The release said that nothing in hockey or life is certain.

“You must give everything you have 100 per cent of the time you step on the ice because you never know when it might be your last shift.”

The release also thanked several teams including the Red Deer Rebels for honouring McBeath with a moment of silence during their games. The Chiefs wanted to thank anyone else they may have missed in their statement.

“We want to thank everyone for their love and support and this will only make us as a team stronger,” the release stated. “Thank you again and remember to keep your feet moving, your head up and your stick on the ice. We will see you all at the rink.”

According to Three Hills RCMP, a semi-tanker travelling southbound on Range Road 252 entered onto Hwy. 27 and the trailer was struck broadside by a westbound Jeep Patriot. The lone occupant of the Jeep, a 17-year-old male from Olds was pronounced deceased at the scene. The driver of the semi did not suffer any injuries.

The Twitter post stated the “Optimist Chiefs are heartbroken by the passing of our teammate, one of our captains, but most importantly our friend @rmcbeath3 (McBeath’s Twitter account). He was a one of kind player but an even better person. He gave everything he had for his brothers on the team. Thoughts are with his family.

Another post on Twitter by Optimist Chief Trainer Jeff Wallace stated, “You were one of the most enjoyable kids I’ve ever had the privilege to coach. I’ve seen you mature into a remarkable player but an even better human. Your passing absolutely crushes me. I will miss you”.

McBeath had 16 goals and 15 assists this year with the Optimist Chiefs and was recently congratulated by the team for graduating through the Chiefs system.

An RCMP collision re-constructionist attended the scene and the cause of the collision remains under investigation. At the time of the collision a thick blanket of fog covered the area.

A Memorial for McBeath will be held at Olds High School on March 21st at 2 p.m.

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