14 dead in Humboldt Broncos bus crash in Saskatchewan
The head coach of the Humboldt Broncos hockey team is among fourteen dead following a horrific bus crash in Saskatchewan.
Darcy Haugan was on the junior hockey team's bus Friday on the way to a playoff game in northeastern Saskatchewan when it collided with a truck.
His wife Christina George-Haugan confirmed his death to The Canadian Press.
Team captain Logan Schatz and fellow player Adam Herold are also confirmed as part of the fourteen dead.
Tributes poured in online for father of two who was described as an amazing mentor to young players.
``He will always be a great man in our hearts,'' his sister posted on Twitter under the name Debbie Jayne. ``The tears just keep coming.''
RCMP have said fourteen others on the bus were injured, three are in critical condition. A photo tweeted early Saturday showed three players lying in side-by-side hospital beds, holding hands.
The team was on its way to play in Game 5 of a semi-final against the Nipawin Hawks.
Darren Opp, president of the Hawks, said a semi T-boned the players' bus.
On Saturday morning, Nipawin was quiet. A church which had been a place for families to gather while they awaited news of their loved ones was deserted, as was Centennial Arena, home of the Hawks.
Meanwhile, offers of help are pouring in for families of team members.
The mother of former NHLer Colby Armstrong tweeted that families could contact her if they needed a place to stay in Saskatoon.
Canalta Hotels were offering to take in family members of those affected. An online fundraising campaign set up for family members of the team had raised more than $260,000 Saturday morning.
Hockey teams and players from leagues across North America tweeted messages of support, many with the hashtag prayersforhumboldt.
``I cannot imagine what these parents are going through, and my heart goes out to everyone affected by this terrible tragedy, in the Humboldt community and beyond,'' Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wrote on Twitter late Friday.
Hundreds of people gathered Friday night at the Apostolic Church in Nipawin, waiting for information.
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. Garinger said the Broncos are a close-knit team from the small city of about 6,000 people 110 kilometres east of Saskatoon.
The Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League is a Junior 'A' hockey league under Hockey Canada, which is part of the Canadian Junior Hockey League. It's open to North American-born players between the age of 16 and 20.