The bus accident in Saskatchewan that claimed 15 lives has rippled across the country as family, friends, and communities mourn the horrific loss of life that included players, coaches and media members.
The tragedy, which involved the team bus for the Humboldt Broncos of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League, took the lives of Evan Thomas and Logan Schatz, two young players who had been drafted by the Kootenay Ice.
“Evan and Logan are in the hearts and minds of the Kootenay ICE players, coaches, front office and our entire community. Friday’s crash has a fatality count of 15, with 14 more being treated for injuries in hospital,” reads a team statement on the Kootenay Ice website. “The Kootenay ICE organization sends our deepest condolences to the Thomas and Schatz families, as well as the Humboldt Broncos organization.
“Our hockey family lost 15 members that we will remember forever.”
Thomas was a 10th round draft pick of the Ice in 2014, while Schatz, the Humboldt team captain, was a ninth round selection in 2012.
Thomas, a forward, played midget hockey in Moose Jaw before moving up to Jr. A with the Broncos full-time this year. Schatz, also a forward, played midget out of Duck Lake before moving up to the Broncos for the last four years, taking on the role of captain two years ago as a 19-year-old.
The tragedy also took the life of Jaxon Joseph, the son of former NHL defenceman Chris Joseph, who had played half a season in the KIJHL for the Beaver Valley Nitehawks in 2015/16.
The accident occurred on Friday, April 6 when a semi truck collided with the team bus on a rural highway while the team was en route to a playoff game in Nipawin.
Among those confirmed deceased include Adam Herold, Connor Lukan, Evan Thomas, Jacob Leicht, Jaxon Joseph, Logan Boulet, Logan Hunter, Logan Schatz, Stephen Wack and Parker Tobin.
Team personnel include head coach Darcy Haugen, broadcaster Tyler Bieber, Brody Hinz, Glen Doerksen and Mark Cross.
A GoFundMe campaign has raised over $5 million dollars that will go towards supporting the players and Broncos organization.