Fourteen people were killed after a bus carrying a team of young hockey players to a Friday night playoff game in Saskatchewan was hit by a semi-trailer — a crash that sent shockwaves throughout the hockey community in the province and far beyond.
The crash happened near Tisdale, about 300 kilometres north of Regina, prompting several air ambulances to respond and sending victims to multiple hospitals in the region.
The RCMP confirmed early Saturday morning that 28 people were on the bus, including the driver, 14 of whom were killed. The remaining 14 were taken to hospital with a range of injuries, including three in critical condition.
The crash, which involved a bus carrying members of the Humboldt Broncos, brought back memories of another fatal crash, in 1986, in which four members of the Swift Current Broncos were killed.
The Humboldt Broncos were traveling to Nipawin for Game 5 of the teams’ playoff series.
The Broncos’ playoff roster includes two dozen players ranging in age from 18 to 21. Their hometowns are mostly in Saskatchewan or Alberta.
The president of team said parents from across Western Canada were rushing to the scene as they struggle to cope with the tragedy.
“It’s one of the hardest days of my life,″ said Kevin Garinger.
“There have been multiple fatalities … our whole community is in shock, we are grieving and we will continue to grieve throughout this ordeal as we try to work toward supporting each other.”
Garinger, who has one of the players living in his home, said they still don’t know his fate.