HUMBOLDT (NEWS 1130) — The Humboldt Broncos bus crash is still fresh in the minds of many Canadians mourning the loss of innocence and unfulfilled dreams.
The April 6th collision with a transport truck carrying peat moss near Tisdale, Saskatchewan killed 16 people and injured 13 others headed to a playoff game in the province’s Junior A Hockey League.
LISTEN: NEWS 1130’s Marcella Bernardo looks back on the Humboldt Broncos bus crash
Hours after details started to trickle out, Team President Kevin Garinger offered condolences to loved ones left behind by ten players, the coach, an assistant coach, trainer, radio play-by-play announcer, statistician and the driver of the bus.
“We are heart-broken and completely devastated…. We will persevere and we will honour the souls that were lost,” he said.
Two surviving players suffered serious brain injuries.
Ryan Straschnitzki is one of two survivors left paralyzed.
“I just remember sitting there. All of a sudden our bus driver screamed whoa and the semi-truck pulled up in front of us. A couple minutes later, I woke up, saw a couple team-mates lying in front of me. We were really close –probably one of the closest teams I’ve been on,” he said.
Early on, the parents of goalie Parker Tobin sat vigil by their son only to find out later he didn’t survive and the boy in that bed was his team-mate Xavier Labelle.
Within days of the tragedy, grieving Canadians were joined by supporters all over the world staging hockey sticks on porches in a show of solidarity.
Donations to a GoFundMe page set up for the survivors and the families of those who died topped $15-million which, at the time, was a new record for this country.
Nearly 100,000 Canadians also signed up to become organ donors.
On July 6th, nearly 30 charges were laid against Jaskirat Singh Sidhu –the Calgary-based driver of the truck that collided with the Broncos’ bus exactly three months earlier.
The lead investigator, RCMP Superintendent Derek Williams, announced 16 charges of dangerous driving causing death and 13 counts of dangerous driving causing bodily harm had been approved.
“We’ve acquired evidence a motor vehicle was being operated in a manner that is dangerous to the public. We’ve conducted over 60 interviews, taken over six thousand photographs. A lot of that material will be before the court, but as we note here today, there’s no impaired driving charges.”
Sidhu’s next court appearance is set for January 8th.
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