Humboldt crash hits home after BC hockey team's close call

Alicia Farmer
April 10, 2018

People around the world are digging out their hockey sticks and placing them outside their homes in honour of the Humboldt Broncos. Last October, the team traded Christian Bosa to the Nipawin Hawks, the team that was awaiting the arrival of the Broncos for their Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League playoff game the night of the collision.

"It was like an utter shock for the whole night, not just with me but for the whole night and my two kids are trying to figure out what's wrong with me and I'm trying to explain to them what is happening, luckily, I have such a great wife making sure I am okay".

Fifteen people were killed when the bus collided with a tractor-trailer around 5 p.m.

A fundraiser organized for the families of the Humboldt junior hockey team tragedy had a goal of raising $4 million.

There were also 15 hockey sticks leaned up against the arena, symbolizing those that lost their lives.

"When we started hearing more, we knew", Ditto said. We feel very sorry for them.

In a devastating mix-up, a victim and survivor in the Humboldt Broncos bus crash were misidentified as the other, a mistake described as unprecedented in Saskatchewan's history. Some players left the arena with their families.

RCMP say 10 players died in the crash.

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The Winnipeg Jets and Chicago Blackhawks honoured the Humboldt team by wearing jerseys with the word BRONCOS across their name plates during their regular-season finale on Saturday night.

"In times of tragedies like this, it is our collective duty to step up and help", the airline said in a statement posted online.

Sam-Jaxon Visscher, who was the Broncos' goalie until he was traded in January, said the players had bleached their hair for the playoffs to reflect the team's colours of green and gold.

"I'd just like to say that he was a great leader, a great guy, a great captain and he's going to be truly missed by not only me but everyone in the Saskatchewan area and beyond", said Walchuk.

"You think about it every time you are on the bus and obviously it could have been any team or organization that travels the way [teams] do in our country..."

There's another thing Ditto wants his team to remember. They made a tradition of playing road hockey at the annual festival, Play On, at the West Edmonton Mall. "That's why we go on these bus trips", the coach said.

"Not one of us is alone in our grief", Garinger said (via ESPN), later encouraging the community to "continue to reach out".

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