It’s a moment that rocked not only the hockey world but us here in the Bulkley Valley as well.
The Humboldt Broncos out of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League (SJHL) were involved in a tragic bus accident on Friday, April 6th when traveling to game 5 of their playoff series against the Nipawin Hawks. On route to their destination, the bus was struck by a semi and left 15 of 28 passengers aboard the bus deceased.
An emotional Smithers Minor Hockey president Suzanne Rourke spoke with My Bulkley Lakes Now News and said there are little to no words to describe how devastating something like this is.
“We feel connected as not only a hockey community but a nation as well. We here in the region send our teams and their representatives on buses and it’s hard seeing the faces the Humboldt Broncos involved because we can relate to them as our own.”
Since Friday evening, the nation has rallied to support an amazing cause. A GoFundMe page was created to support those in their time of need and has raised 5.7 million dollars from over 77 000 people. Smithers Mayor Taylor Bachrach says when tragedy strikes, it’s amazing to see the outreach from not only us here in BC, but across Canada and the US as well.
“There were vigils and ceremonies hosted throughout several platforms over the weekend and that’s an amazing outreach by everyone. Many people can relate to this and it’s heartening to see how many people have sent their best wishes and prayers to those affected.”
The Smithers Minor Hockey Association (SMHA) will host their annual awards banquet this Wednesday and will pay tribute to those lost in the Humboldt accident. They will also be presenting an award dedicated to Andy Malbeus who was a hockey coach from the area and passed away in October of 2017.
Those looking to donate to the Humboldt Broncos can click here.