Authorities say at least 14 people were killed and another 15 injured after a bus and semi-truck collided on Highway 35 in Saskatchewan, Canada, Friday evening. The bus was carrying the Humboldt Broncos junior hockey team, comprised of players between the ages of 16 and 20-years-old.
Humboldt is a town of roughly 6,000 people in western Canada. Mayor Rob Muench told CBC News, “It’s going to hit the community hard. It’s not a good day for Humboldt.”
The team had been headed to a playoff game against the Nipawin Hawks and 29 people were on the bus, including the driver. Three of the 15 survivors are reportedly in critical condition. Not all names of the deceased have been released, but it was confirmed by relatives that head coach Darcy Haugan and team captain Logan Schatz both died in the crash.
Three helicopters were sent to the scene of the accident, where the semi-truck had reportedly T-boned the bus — but the cause of the crash could not be immediately confirmed. Darren Opp, president of the Hawks told reporters, “It’s a terrible accident, my God. It’s very, very bad.”
Myles Shumlanski, the father of one of the players, further described the scene to the Saskatoon Star Phoenix: “It was a disaster. We had a crane lifting the bus.”
Team 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.”
A GoFundMe page was set up Friday night in order to raise money for the victims and their families, and had received over $750,000 in donations by Saturday afternoon.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expressed his sympathies via Twitter, saying: “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.”
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. https://t.co/2cIn2CTy08
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) April 7, 2018
President Donald Trump also posted on social media that he had reached out to Trudeau “to pay my highest respect and condolences to the families of the terrible Humboldt Team tragedy. May God be with them all!”