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Coach among 14 dead

UPDATE: 9:22 a.m.

The captain of the Humboldt Broncos hockey team is among 14 dead following a horrific bus crash in Saskatchewan.

Logan Schatz died along with head coach Darcy Haugan when the junior hockey team's bus collided with a truck on the way to a playoff game in northeastern Saskatchewan Friday.

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.

RCMP have said 14 others on the bus were injured — three were in critical condition.

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.


UPDATE: 8:26 a.m.

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.

Tributes poured in online for Haugan who was described as an amazing mentor to young players.

RCMP have said 14 others on the bus were injured — three are in critical condition.

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.


UPDATE: 6:20 a.m.

RCMP say 14 people are dead and 14 people were injured Friday after a truck collided with a bus carrying a junior hockey team to a playoff game in northeastern Saskatchewan.

Police say there were 28 people including the driver on board the Humboldt Broncos bus when the crash occurred about 5 p.m. on Highway 35, north of Tisdale.

"We can now confirm 14 people have died as a result of this collision," RCMP said in a release early Saturday. "The other fourteen people were sent to hospital with a variety of injuries; three of these people have injuries that are critical in nature."

No names were released, and police would not say whether the dead include players or coaches. There was no mention of the truck driver.

The team president 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 said the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League team includes players from Edmonton, Slave Lake and Airdrie in Alberta and from Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

Michelle Straschnitzki, who lives in Airdrie, said her 18-year old son Ryan had been taken to hospital in Saskatoon.

"We talked to him, but he said he couldn't feel his lower extremities, so I don't know what's going on," she said, noting she will go to Saskatchewan on Saturday.

"I am freaking out. I am so sad for all of the teammates and I am losing my mind."

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.

"It's a horrible accident, my God," he said. "It's very, very bad."

Opp said the coaching staff and players from the Hawks were waiting to help.

"They are sitting in the church just waiting to hear any good news," he said. "I've got 50 phone calls at least saying what do you want?

"There's uncles and moms and dads waiting to hear whether their sons and nephews are OK.

"It's terrible. It's absolutely terrible."

– The Canadian Press


UPDATE: 11 p.m.

A Go Fund Me page has been created to support the players families through this tragic time.

Over $13,000 has been raised so far.

The community continues to share support and sadness on social media.

Head Coach and General Manager Darcy Haugan's sister Debbie tweeted:

"My brother didn't make it..."  

Community Resident, Ian Boxall‏ tweeted: "We live 5 miles from the accident scene and have 2 empty double beds and lots of room if anybody needs. DM me if need be any time. #PrayersForHumboldt #Humboldtstrong"

Broncos President, Kevin Garinger said “Our thoughts and prayers are extended to the families of our staff and athletes as well as to all who have been impacted by this horrible tragedy. Our Broncos family is in shock as we try to come to grips with our incredible loss.”


UPDATE: 9:25 p.m.

People across the country have been sharing their condolences all over social media. 

Rhonda Tobin, mother to Parker Tobin the Goaltender of the Humboldt Broncos posted to twitter saying: 

"This is one of the hardest posts I have ever had to make. Parker is stable at the moment and being airlifted to Saskatoon hospital. Thank you all for your kind words and messages. Please continue to pray for his Humboldt family."  


UPDATE: 9:10 p.m.

In a media briefing, RCMP in Saskatchewan confirmed multiple fatalities after the Humboldt Broncos team bus collided with a semi truck. 

Police didn't confirm the number of fatalities from the collision, but said they are "still continuing rescue efforts." STARS air ambulance also sent two helicopters to the crash scene, which occurred on Highway 335 north of Melfort.

The Broncos Junior A hockey club was headed to Nipawin to play the Hawks in game five of their semi-final playoff series, which was cancelled after news of the crash.

Hawks president Darren Opp said the semi T-boned the Broncos bus. 

The Hawks team staff originally confirmed the Broncos bus was involved. Nipawin head coach and general manager Doug Johnson said "hockey is the last thing on anyone’s mind at the moment."

Players families have gathered at a church in Nipawin, according to RCMP.


ORIGINAL: 6:45 p.m.

RCMP say they are at the scene of a fatal collision involving a transport truck and a bus carrying a hockey team northeast of Saskatoon.

Details on how many people are dead or injured have not been released.

The Nipawin Hawks of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League say the crash involved the team bus of the Humboldt Broncos.

The league says a game between the two teams set for tonight has been postponed, but noted they are still awaiting more details about the crash.

"We're just waiting to hear," said Rick Shultz, chairman of the board for the SJHL. "We just know there has been an accident.

"It's not very good."

Kevin Henry, a coach who runs a hockey school in Prince Albert, said he knows players on the team.

"People are in such shock. All these young men and boys. We send our kids to play hockey. It is sort of every parent's worst nightmare," he said.

"This is I would think one of the darkest days in the history of Saskatchewan, especially because hockey is so ingrained in how we grow up here."

STARS air ambulance has confirmed that they sent two helicopters to the scene.

The Western Hockey League Swift Current Broncos expressed their condolences.

"Humboldt Broncos weighing heavy in our hearts and minds tonight," the team said on Twitter.

Four members of the Swift Current Broncos were killed in a bus crash in Saskatchewan in 1986.

Former NHL player Sheldon Kennedy, who was one of the players on the bus in 1986, also sent a message of support.

"Sending all my thoughts and prayers to those impacted with the @HumboltBroncos bus crash."

RCMP said the collision occurred late Friday afternoon on Highway 35, about 30 kilometres north of Tisdale near the junction of Highway 335.

Police say the highway will be blocked for several hours and are urging drivers to avoid the area.



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