Death toll rises to 15 in Canadian junior hockey team bus crash

Humboldt Broncos

A forward from Alberta is among the 15 people killed after a collision between a truck and a bus carrying the Humboldt Broncos junior hockey team in Saskatchewan.

Police say there were 29 people on the bus, which was carrying the Humboldt Broncos, a team in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau offered his condolences to the families affected by the accident through Twitter.

Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe said: "To the City of Humboldt, the entire Broncos organisation, and the families impacted by this tragedy, please know you are in Saskatchewan's hearts".

"There have been multiple fatalities, our whole community is in shock", said Kevin Garinger, the president of the Humboldt Broncos.

On Friday night, more than a hundred people packed the Apostolic Church in Nipawin, where the Broncos had been scheduled to play, awaiting word from the accident, the Globe and Mail reported.

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According to the RCMP, the driver of the tractor-trailer was not injured and was not in custody.

Wilson said he filled in a few times for Bieber because he was also busy coaching the Humbolt high school's basketball and football teams.

Fourteen people were injured in the crash, including two critically.

Bill Chow, president of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League (SJHL) has dedicated his career to supporting young athletes.

Those involved with hockey - especially at the junior level - brought up the bus rides the players and staff embark on on a daily basis.

"We don't know who has passed and we don't expect to know right away", he added.

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National Hockey League coaches and players also expressed condolences.

Herold, who would have turned 17 on Thursday, played for the Regina Pat Canadians hockey team until just weeks ago, but was sent to join the Broncos for their playoff round when the Pat Canadians' season wrapped up, said John Smith, the Pat Canadians' manager. "Some of them are waiting to hear if their kids are alive", said pastor Jordan Gadsby. In a statement he called the accident "every parent's worst nightmare".

"You could see the admiration and love between them", Herrington said.

"It's overwhelming. It's been tough on everybody", Muench said in a phone interview. The players, ranging in age from 16 to 21, come from different parts of Canada and stay with host families during the season, according to the team's website. And yet during playoff games, like the two held against the Nipawin Hawks this past week, the arena is so full of spectators, it is standing room only, Eaton said. I have a lot of great memories of times spent on buses, and you never really have that in the back of your mind.

"I think one thing that we underestimate with the impact of trauma, and PTSD, and going through things like this, is the magnitude of the impact", he says. "We are just in utter disbelief and shock at the loss that's fallen upon us".

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