UPDATED: Bus Crash Devastates Hockey World
Support for the Humboldt Broncos continues to pour-in after 15 people have now been reported dead after Friday's crash in Saskatchewan.
The RCMP say 15 people are dead and 14 others are injured after their bus colided with a transport-truck about 200 kilometres northeast of Saskatoon.
Windsor native Justin Buzzeo is currently playing professional hockey in Germany, but he played for Humboldt from 2009 to 2011 — he wasn't sure what to expect heading off to play in such a small town but it became his second home.
An emotional Buzzeo tells CTV News he can't imagine what everyone is going through in such a tight-knit community.
"It's sad, it's really sad. A lot of people have reached out and I've reached out to my billets that I lived with, they're an awesome family and I still see them all the time," he says. "I know they had three players staying with them and my heart goes out to them, it's heartbreaking."
As a player who's departed on hundreds of road-trips, he says Friday's tragedy is a sobering reminder of how quickly things can go wrong.
"You get on the bus multiple times not thinking about anything like this and hope that it never happens and there are some lives lost and you pray for those families and everyone effected," says Buzzeo.
On the heels of Saturday's 2018 OHL Draft, Spitfire's General Manager Warren Rychel tells AM800 News the accident is weighing on everyone's mind.
"It's terrible, I mean our hearts go out to all the parents and the kids on board, it kind of reminded me of the Swift Current one," he says.
Rychel says Joe Sakic told him about the 1986 bus crash he was involved in while playing for the WHL's Swift Current Broncos that took the lives of four teammates and injured 24 others.
"I'm friends with Joe Sakic and he told me about that one when we played together in Colorado, it was just awful," he says. "It's scary, we take things for granted just getting on the road, but this, it's really bad."
The Humboldt bus was heading to Nipawin to play the Hawks in Game five of a semi-final Friday night.
A GoFundMe crowdfunding campaign started by a resident of Humbolt has raised more than $1-million to help players and their families cope with expenses, just 12-hours after coming online.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is one of many who have taken to social media in support of the team.
CLICK HERE for the latest.
— with files from AM800's Steve Bell and CTV Windsor's Rich Garton.
To the entire Humboldt Broncos hockey community: We are here for you. As neighbours, as friends, and as Canadians, we grieve alongside you. Statement: https://t.co/jKloGgn5io— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) April 7, 2018
A memorial has been set up outside a gym in St. Albert for Stephen Wack. The big d-man trained here every summer for nearly a decade. pic.twitter.com/0w6X4L9AK6— Dan Grummett (@DGrummettCTV) April 7, 2018
Sending all my thoughts and prayers to those impacted with the @HumboltBroncos bus crash.— Sheldon Kennedy (@ShelKenn) April 7, 2018
Pls don't share any unconfirmed information. These kids families and friends
Are all searching for the correct info.#PrayersForHumboldt
That #HumboldtBroncos team picture going around is powerful. Head Coach Darcy Haugan isn't visible in the back left, so please make sure his face is known. An incredible man of faith, humility and integrity. #PrayersForHumboldt pic.twitter.com/M4DDcfag9f— Dave Dawson (@DaveDawson7) April 7, 2018
We are extremely saddened to hear that former Eagle Jaxon Joseph has passed away in the Humboldt Broncos bus accident. Jaxon was a member of our team in the 2015-16 season. Rest In Peace. pic.twitter.com/POtRTQFrrx— Surrey Eagles (@SurreyEagles) April 7, 2018
The Blackhawks and @NHLJets will honor the Humboldt Broncos by wearing "BRONCOS" on the back of their jerseys in place of name plates tonight. Also, the #Blackhawks will match a $25,000 donation from both the Jets and @NHL to The Humboldt Broncos Hockey Club. #PrayersForHumboldt— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) April 7, 2018
Tonight we wear "Broncos" on the back of our jerseys, symbolizing the unity and support of our hockey communities coming together as one for the Humboldt Broncos' family. pic.twitter.com/DBPBSpoPyG— #PrayersForHumboldt (@NHLJets) April 7, 2018