'I cannot imagine what these parents are going through,' writes Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

By Dave Quinn
April 07, 2018 10:06 AM

At least 14 people are dead after a passenger bus carrying a junior league hockey team in western Canada’s Saskatchewan province crashed into a tractor-trailer on Friday, police confirmed.

The Humboldt Broncos, a team made up of athletes aged 16 to 20, were on their way to a Saskatchewan Junior League playoff game in the town of Nipawin, according to a statement on the team’s website.

Police said on Friday that the crash happened on Highway No. 35, approximately 18 miles north of Tisdale.

A total of 28 people — including team members, coaches and the bus driver — were on board at the time of the crash, authorities confirmed in a statement Saturday morning. 14 were killed while the other 14 were sent to a local hospital where they are being treated with “a variety of injuries.” Of the 14 hospitalized, three are in critical condition.

Credit: Humboldt Broncos/Twitter

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke out about the tragedy on Twitter.

“I cannot imagine what these parents are going through,” Trudeau tweeted, “and my heart goes out to everyone affected by this terrible tragedy, in the Humboldt community and beyond.”

“We are not confirming the identity of the victims at this time, including whether the deceased are players or coaches,” a statement from Royal Canadian Mounted Police said. “We will be working with our partner agencies to ensure families are notified as soon as possible and the appropriate supports are provided to families and others who are impacted by this extremely tragic incident.”

Family members of those on the bus are being asked to call 306-752-8700 for more information. A gathering spot for families has been set up at the Nipawin Apostolic Church.

The scene is still being investigated by Nipawin RCMP, police officers from the surrounding detachments and investigators, police said.

Broncos president Kevin Garinger shared his condolences in a statement on the team’s website.

“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,” his statement read. “Our Broncos family is in shock as we try to come to grips with our incredible loss.”