After a devastating bus crash, mourners are paying tribute with hockey sticks

Georgia Reed
April 10, 2018

"Hockey is like religion or more than religion in Canada and the tragedy here was such that people around the world wanted to do anything they can to say "we support you, Humboldt, we support the Broncos" and a few days later you're at $5 million from over 65 countries".

As Canada mourns the 15 lives lost in Friday's bus crash, there are still a dozen people that are still in hospital.

Wilby acknowledged the difficulties faced by all of those with connections to the crash - and now, in the latest cruel twist, the families of Labelle and Tobin. Fourteen others were injured in the crash, the cause of which the RCMP says is still under investigation.

"The Humboldt Broncos tragedy has shown that the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League players, coaches, volunteers, trainers are more than a league, they're family", said Bill Chow, President of the SJHL. "I can't imagine putting myself in those families' shoes - to first get the notice that one has been in a collision of this nature, and then to find out who they thought was their loved one wasn't ... actually their loved one".

Flags flying at half-staff outside Fort St. John City Hall on Monday morning.

Tobin was presumed to be alive, so his family wouldn't have been asked to come in and identify a body, Wilby explained. Long bus rides between small towns is a part of life for every youth hockey player in the prairie provinces.

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Wilby said both families are fully aware of the error and he thanked them for their professionalism, support and understanding in the matter. "We've been through so much together".

"If we didn't have a game that night, some of our players would have been with them", coach Eric Ditto added.

"He liked sports, but at times I think he tolerated sports so he could be a teammate", the father said in a phone interview with The Canadian Press. I'm going to miss you bro. Fifteen members of the team were killed in the crash, including 42-year-old Darcy Haugan, who was the former head coach of the NWJHL's North Peace Navigators. While he said no one can claim to understand how this would be in His control, Brandow assured mourners God was with them in their grief.

It's silent in front of #YQR city hall as people place candles and flowers beside pictures of each #HumboldtBroncos player who died.

The Broncos' team bus was struck by a semi-truck while traveling to a playoff game against the Nipawin Hawks on Friday night.

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