By Pam Jones, Editor.
After having been involved in the Hockey World for forty-years, both with my son and then my grandson, it is with the heaviest of hearts that we, at the Gazette, received the news of the horrific accident involving the Humboldt Broncos Junior Hockey Team.
We would like to extend our heartfelt condolences to everyone that this accident has touched.
We are including the Saskatchewan RCMP Commanding Office, Curtis Zablocki’s official statement in this article but will refrain from further coverage other than pertinent updates, as the hockey community and Canadians across our country come to terms with this loss.
For those wishing to follow more of this story, we encourage you to monitor the Saskatchewan RCMP’s official website at: http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/en/sk/home.
Statement from Commanding Officer Curtis Zablocki
April 7, 2018
It is with profound sadness and a heavy heart that we all gather here today.
Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone impacted by this terrible event, family of the injured and deceased, friends, the communities of Humboldt and Nipawin and the Humboldt Broncos organization.
The hockey community has strong roots in our province and the sudden loss of so many lives will be felt not only here in Saskatchewan, but across this county. It is difficult to put into words the sorrow one feels in a situation like this.
Yesterday at approximately 5:00 p.m., Nipawin RCMP responded to a collision between the Humboldt Broncos’ bus and a tractor trailer unit. So far our investigation has determined the tractor trailer unit was travelling westbound on Highway #335 and the bus was travelling northbound on Highway #35. There were 29 people on the bus at the time of the collision. Fourteen people died as a result of this collision. Fifteen others were sent to hospital with a variety of injuries. Some of the injuries are deemed to be critical in nature. The injured passengers were transported to hospitals in Saskatoon where they are now with their families. The driver, and lone occupant of the tractor trailer unit, was not injured in the collision.
We continue to investigate this collision and have deployed the appropriate resources and specialized investigators, including a collision reconstructionist team.
Our investigators will be looking into all aspects of this collision to determine exactly what took place. This is a very involved investigation and due to the large amount of evidence, information and the number of victims this work will take some time. It is too early to comment on the cause of the collision and we will continue to provide updates as the investigation progresses.
Finally, I want to recognize the efforts of the employees of the RCMP, other emergency responders, victim services workers, medical professionals, community leaders and the community members who responded to this event and continue to provide to assistance. On behalf of the Saskatchewan RCMP, I extend a heartfelt thank you.
Nipawin RCMP: Number of deceased increases to 15
April 7, 2018
This afternoon, Saskatchewan RCMP were notified of another death resulting from the fatal motor vehicle collision that occurred yesterday. This brings the number of people who died in this collision to 15.
For anyone wishing to support the team a GoFundMe account has been set up to assist the families involved: https://ca.gofundme.com/funds-for-humboldt-broncos
Additionally, WestJet is offering help to the Broncos hockey team family members who need assistance getting to Saskatoon by plane: https://bit.ly/2H2oDJT