Hockey bus crash survivors hold hands in hospital

Fourteen people died and others were injured when a large truck collided with a bus carrying the Humboldt Broncos junior hockey team to a game.

"Our thoughts and prayers are extended to the families of our staff and athletes as well as to all who have been impacted by this awful tragedy", Broncos President Kevin Garinger said.

"It certainly affects all the Prairie Provinces", said Kevin Garinger, the team's president and the local director of education.

Friday's crash brought back memories of another highway accident that claimed the lives of hockey players in Saskatchewan.

According to the RCMP, the driver of the tractor-trailer was not injured and was not in custody.

President of the Nipawin Hawks, Darren Opp, said a transporter truck hit the side of the bus, describing the collision as a "horrible accident" and "very, very bad".

An online crowdfunding campaign to help victims and families after a fatal bus crash has raised more than $15,000 in only a few hours.

Lukan played with the midget St. Albert Raiders and Spruce Grove Saints in the Alberta Junior Hockey League before joining the Broncos past year.

The others killed include the junior hockey team's head coach, Darcy Haugan, captain Logan Schatz, forwards Jaxon Joseph and Logan Hunter, defenceman Stephen Wack.

The police confirmed on Saturday that there were 29 people on the Humboldt Broncos team bus, which included the driver too. "We had a crane lifting the bus", he said.

"I identify very closely with what they're going through and I can't imagine if that'd been a call about our bus, how devastating that would be", said Lighthouse Church pastor Danny Stebeck.

The Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau also expressed his condolences to the victims of the accident.

"Lots of them are waiting for information", he said. It's open to North American-born players between the ages of 16 and 20.

"Every day hockey teams, players, scouts and parents are on the road heading to arenas everywhere, so this impacts everyone and these young men and the Humboldt Broncos will be forever remembered", Dan Marr, the director of NHL Central Scouting, told NHL.com.

Broncos president Kevin Garinger says the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League team includes players from Edmonton, Slave Lake and Airdrie in Alberta and from Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

Humboldt mayor Rob Munch said the tragedy had been overwhelming for the town of about 6,000 people.

Although their season has ended and the players are back home with their families, Stebeck said the community is in mourning - as are the players.

Before the game, a moment of silence was observed, with players from both teams standing in a circle around centre ice.

"I told our guys, 'We're playing for the purity of the game, for the love of the game tonight, ' " Gulutzan said. You can't make up for loss, you just can't.

"Some of them are waiting to hear if their kids are alive", he said.

  • Joey Payne