Eagle Examiner

Humboldt Broncos Bus Crash

Georgia Morris

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Last Friday, a major tragedy hit the town of Humboldt in Saskatchewan, Canada. Humboldt has a Junior League Hockey team, the Broncos, that was involved in a devastating crash that day. The team was travelling to a playoff game when the bus carrying the team was hit by a tractor trailer at the intersection of two rural highways. The bus was carrying 29 people when it was hit. Among the 29, 15 died, including the head coach of the team, the bus driver, and a 16-year old player. The remaining 14 were injured and are currently recovering with some still in critical condition.

This is not the first deadly accident that has occurred at this intersection. In 1997, a family travelling through the same intersection was involved in a crash that killed all 5 members of the family. The two intersecting highways are Highway 35 and Highway 335. The Broncos’ bus was travelling north along Highway 35 while the tractor trailer was heading west along 335. The Broncos’  bus had the right of way while the tractor trailer should have had a stop sign. The two vehicles collided, obliterating on contact. The driver of the tractor trailer was unharmed, but 15 of those on the bus died and 14 were injured. The tractor-trailer was carrying peat moss for a Calgary-based company and the driver has had his license suspended per routine. No cause for the crash has been officially commented on by the RCMP, Royal Canadian Mounted Police. The driver of the tractor trailer is receiving mental-health assistance in the aftermath of the collision.

This tragic incident impacts this town of only 4800 in a particularly tragic way because of the town’s connection to the team. The team was an important part of the Humboldt community. One reason is because hockey is an integral part of this small farming town, but also because of the town’s love for the boys and the boys’ love for the town. Ranging in age from only 16 to 21, the players of the team were highly visible in a range of community activities from fundraisers to visits to senior homes, even going out to shovel driveways after a snowstorm this past winter. The team was made up of an honorable and sincere group of young men and the town is mourning this incredible loss.

Signs of grief and sympathy are being shown across both Canada and the United States. The Winnipeg Jets and Chicago Blackhawks, Major League NHL teams, wore jerseys that said “Broncos” above their numbers rather than their names in a game Saturday night to honor those lost in the crash and those affected by it. Over $8 million has been raised for the families of the players. However, despite all the support, the families of those lost will continue to struggle with this loss and many families across Canada will look at their country’s passtime a little bit differently. Parents across the country regularly see their children off on buses for games, and this incident has made parents wary what used to be a familiar and unconcerning situation.

Credit for image: https://globalnews.ca/news/4138883/saskatchewan-junior-hockey-league-sjhl-season-playoffs-humboldt-broncos-bus-crash/ 

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