The hockey world will never heal from the devastating loss that occurred Friday night on a highway 30 kilometers north of Tisdale, Sask.
The Humboldt Broncos were travelling to Nipawin for Game 5 of their SJHL semifinal matchup when their team bus, which carried 28 people, collided with a semi trailer. Police have confirmed 14 fatalities in the crash so far, including the driver. Three other people are listed in critical condition. (Update: One of the injured later passed away.)
It's one of the hardest days of my life," team president Kevin Garinger told the Canadian Press. "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."
The horrific crash has broken the country's heart.
"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," said Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau via Twitter.
Added Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe in a statement:
"To the City of Humboldt, the entire Broncos organization, and the families impacted by this tragedy, please know you are in Saskatchewan's hearts. From a grieving province, thank you to every one of the first responders and medical professionals for your courageous response under the most difficult circumstances imaginable Tonight, we all must pray for these families."
Said NHL commissioner Gary Bettman in a statement released Saturday:
“Our thoughts are with the players, families, coaches, team management and all those throughout the community who have been affected by the tragedy involving the Humboldt Broncos hockey team. The NHL mourns the passing of those who perished and offers strength and comfort to those injured while traveling to play and be part of a game they all love.”
The team includes 24 players, aged 16 to 21, all from Western Canada. Parents and family of individuals seeking information about their family members who may have been in the collision can call 306-752-8700.
A GoFundMe account has been set up to raise money for the victims' families. Donate here: https://www.gofundme.com/funds-for-humboldt-broncos
The Hockey News extends its deepest condolences to families of the victims and anyone else affected by this tragedy. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.