It was a somber Saturday afternoon in Humboldt.
Town residents, members of local government, Broncos and SJHL representatives gathered at the Humboldt Multiplex for an update on the tragic crash involving the Humboldt Broncos.
15 people were killed and 14 injured when a semi trailer truck struck the team bus as it was en route to Nipawin for a playoff game Friday night.
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SJHL President Bill Chow was one of the representatives in attendance, and he was visibly shaken.
“The worst nightmare has happened,” he said, voice trembling.
“As a league, we will support the Humboldt Broncos in every way possible.”
SJHL's Bill Chow says no talks regarding a season suspension have been had. Talks need to be had with Broncos reps and SJHL members.
Says at the end of the day, "we're going to do what we think is right."#Humboldt #SJHL #Saskatchewan #PrayersForHumboldt #Canada #news
— David Boles (@DavidJBoles) April 7, 2018
Saskatchewan RCMP Assistant Commissioner Curtis Zablocki spoke to the investigation.
He noted at present moment, it’s still too early to determine the cause of the crash.
“This is a very involved investigation,” he said. “Due to the large amount of evidence, the information and the number of victims, this will take some time.”
“We will continue to provide updates as this investigation progresses.”
Zablocki did note their investigation determined at the time of the collision. The driver detained initially, but was later released and is being provided with mental health supports. Zablocki also noted the driver didn’t sustain any injury in the collision.
Premier Scott Moe addressed the media via conference call later Saturday afternoon. He said this is a “time of great sorrow” for all of Saskatchewan.
“We’ve seen an incredible outpouring of compassion and generosity from across the nation and now around the world,” he said. “And we, in this province, are so grateful.”
Moe also spoke out the impact hockey has had on Saskatchewan, and now how this tragedy has impacted the province.
“In this province, we are really just one small town,” he reflected. “We are neighbours, we are friends and we are family, tightly knit. The bonds are strong. And there’s no place where they’re stronger than our hockey arenas, the heart of so many of our communities in this province.”
“And today, our heart is broken.”
A GoFund me campaign aimed at raising money for the families affected has grown out of control as by Saturday afternoon was approaching the two million dollar mark.
The city of Humboldt will be paying tribute to those lost in the crash by holding a vigil at the Elgar Petersen Arena at 7 pm on Sunday.
(With files from Ryan McNally in Humboldt)