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A junior hockey team was en route to a crucial playoff game Friday when a
tractor-trailer slammed into their chartered bus, killing 15 and sending shock
waves through a small town on the Canadian plain.
More than half the passengers on the Humboldt Broncos’ bus were killed. Most
were players who hailed from the prairie provinces known for farming, but
victims also included coaches, a radio announcer, team statistician and a bus
driver accustomed to weathering hazardous road conditions.
The team’s first line, including the team captain and the son of a former NHL
player, all died. Three of the young players killed were named Logan.
Family members, friends and former team managers provided a glimpse of most
of those who died:
FIRST LINE DOWN
Logan Schatz, 20, was a four-year veteran of the Broncos and had been captain
for more than half his time with the team. The high-scoring center was the
Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League’s player of the month twice this season.
Schatz’s wingmen on the team’s top line Cheap
Ian Thomas Jersey , Jaxon Joseph and Conner Lukan, were also
Schatz had praised the two publicly in January. ”I’ve really clicked with
Joseph and Lukan,” he said on the team’s website. ”I can’t say enough good
things about them.”
Joseph, 20, the son of former NHL player Chris Joseph, was among the leading
scorers in the league playoffs. He had previously played on the St. Albert
Raiders with Lukan.
The death of Lukan, 21, of Slave Lake, Alberta, was announced by the Raiders
Two other Raiders alumni also died in the crash: Stephen Wack and Logan
Wack, 21, had played two seasons with the Broncos and ”absolutely lived and
breathed hockey,” his cousin Alicia Wack said.
”Stephen has always been an amazing person, son Mallex
Smith Jersey , big brother, and cousin,” she said on Facebook. ”He
is one of the most adventurous, ambitious, and loving people that I have ever
been blessed to know.”
Hunter was a great hockey player and a smart kid with a great sense of humor,
said Kevin Porter, president of the Raiders. ”He always had a smile on his
face,” Porter said.
Tributes to head coach Darcy Haugan described him as a great person, coach
”He will always be a great man in our hearts,” said his sister, who posted on
Twitter under the name Debbie Jayne. ”The tears just keep coming.”
Haugan played in the junior hockey league in the 1990s.
Steven Wilson, a radio play-by-play announcer, called Haugan ”the classiest
guy” in the league. The last time they saw each other, Haugan was playing video
games in his office with one of his two young sons.
”He was very dedicated to his family and at the same time he was a hockey
Terrell Edmunds Jersey ,” Wilson said.
Haugan’s wife, Christina George-Haugan, is the team’s office manager.
One of Haugan’s assistants was Mark Cross, who had joined the team after
being named most valuable player last year while playing with the Maroons in the
Highway Hockey League.
”I can honestly say I didn’t know a more kind-hearted, generous, caring and
overall nice person,” cousin Graeme Cross said in an online tribute.
”Mark was one of those people that just made you feel safe and brought a
special spark when you were in his presence.”
Bus driver Glen Doerksen was accustomed to driving routes between rinks for
Charlie’s Charters, the official carrier for more than a half dozen hockey
teams. He was no stranger to the storms that sweep across the plain during the
”Our trips to Foam Lake and Allan were on horrible highways due to winter
storms,” Kris Babbings, manager of the Kinistino Tigers, said on Twitter. ”We
got on that bus and trusted him with our lives and both times he got us home
safely. Tragically yesterday he and many others didn’t make it home and our
hearts are broken for your families and friends.”
Babbings said he would never forget the smile on Doerksen’s face after the
Tigers won their championship in Allan last month. The team asked the driver to
honk his horn twice ”for the cup.”
”Tonight, Glen, we give two honks for you,” he wrote. ”Rest easy sir.”
CALLING THE SHOTS ON AIR AND PLAYS ON SIDELINES
Tyler Bieber was in his first season as the team’s play-by-play announcer for
Humboldt radio station CHBO Authentic
Josh Sweat Jersey , where he also covered news.
”He definitely had a natural talent,” said Wilson, a co-worker in Weyburn,
Saskatchewan. ”He was just passionate about sports.”
Bieber was also mentoring Brody Hinz, 18, the team statistician and radio
station intern who died in the crash, Lydon Frieson, president of Golden West
Radio, said in a statement posted on the station’s website.
”Tragedy has hit our community and it reaches into every corner of life in
Humboldt,” Frieson said.
Bieber also coached the Humboldt high school’s basketball and football teams,
GIVING LIFE TO OTHERS