UPDATE (3:22 p.m.) Danya Brons, the team’s trainer passed away at noon on April 11. The number of dead resulting from the collision is now 16. The Wranglers will also be holding a memorial at the South Cariboo Arena on April 12 from 4:30 – 7 p.m.
On April 6, a team bus carrying the Humboldt Broncos of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League collided with a transport truck roughly 30 kilometres north of Tisdale, a community in northeastern Saskatchewan. As of 12:20 p.m. on April 8, 15 people have died.
“It is a nightmare for the parents and everyone involved. I think it’s the depth of the nightmare that it reaches. I don’t know anybody from the Humboldt Bronco’s but my heart goes out for them,” said Tom Bachynski, the president of the 100 Mile House Wranglers.
General manager and head coach Dale Hladun was acquainted with Humboldt’s head coach, the deceased Darcy Haugan.
“It’s hitting the hockey world hard not just in Humboldt but you’re seeing it on CBC. The NHL feels it, junior hockey across everywhere feels it. It’s amazing how many people you end up knowing like Darcey Haugan, the head coach. I met him a long time ago when he was in the Peace River area when I lived in Manning, Alta. and then I got to talk to him a little bit more because he was coaching the Humboldt Broncos and we talked about players a little bit,” said Hladun.
A former Wranglers player’s cousin also died at the hospital after the accident, according to Hladun and Bachynski.
“It’s a tough weekend,” said Hladun. “You can’t wrap your head around it. Look how important the Wranglers are in 100 Mile through the winter. I mean, we all go to the rink, we all have invested interest in the games. Humboldt is not much bigger and if a situation similar to this happens, God forbid, it would be powerful.”
The Broncos were on their way to play the Nipawin Hawks in a playoff game and were only halfway through their trip when the crash occurred.
The 100 Mile House Wranglers have asked fans to wear team jerseys on April 12 in memory of the 15 people who passed during the accident. They have also tied balloons with the Broncos’ team colours to the signage on Wrangler Way.
People around the country are also leaving hockey sticks on their front porch with the light in tribute as well.
School District 27 asked students and staff to wear green and yellow on April 9 in remembrance.