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Death toll climbs to 15 in Saskatchewan hockey bus crash

Last Updated Apr 7, 2018 at 5:14 pm EDT

Photo courtesy of @HumboldtBroncos.

The head coach of the Humboldt Broncos hockey team is among 14 dead following a 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, is also among 14 dead.

Kelly Schatz, Logan’s father, says his 20-year-old son played for the Broncos for just over four years and had served as team captain for the past two-and-a-half years.

He says his son’s death is hard and the family is seeking solace in one another.

One of the Humboldt Broncos top forwards Jaxon Joseph has also lost his life. The winger’s death was confirmed by the Surrey Eagles, his former team in the British Columbia Hockey League.

The Broncos website says Joseph was among the leading scorers in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League playoffs, playing on a line with Logan Schatz.

Tyler Bieber, who worked for Broncos as their play-by-play announcer and CHBO was also killed.

RCMP say another 14 people were also injured, three of them critically.

The bus was carrying the Humboldt Broncos of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League.

It collided with a transport truck about 30 kilometres from community of Tisdale northeast of Saskatoon.

The team was on the way to Nipawin for a game when the crash happened.

Darren Opp, president of the Hawks, said a semi T-boned the players’ bus that was coming to play against their team. “It’s a horrible accident, my God,” he said. “It’s very, very bad.”

Police say their focus right now is to help those who’ve been injured and to get them medical help.

It’s unclear what may have caused the crash, however, RCMP say there were “winter driving conditions” at the time.

RCMP add mental health counsellors are also being made available to help anyone who may be affected.

The Broncos were en route to Nipawin for Game 5 of its SJHL semi-final series against the Nipawin Hawks.

Quick Facts

  • The Broncos are the most successful team in Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League history.
  • Humboldt has won the league championship 10 times and the RBC Cup, Canada’s junior A championship, twice since its inception in 1996.
  • The Broncos have produced six NHLers since the team was founded in 1970.
  • Although Humboldt, Sask., had been home to several junior-A teams dating back to the 1940s, the Broncos didn’t get their start until 1970 when a group of local hockey organizers put together a new team for the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League.
  • Six players from this year’s Humboldt Broncos roster had committed to playing for post-secondary schools next season.