LETHBRIDGE – Global News has identified one of the victims in a crash near Picture Butte as 49-year-old Kalvin Odland. The crash happened Monday afternoon on Highway 845 after a black SUV travelling northbound was involved in a head-on collision with a south bound pick up truck.
Odland was the general manager of the Southeast Midget Triple A female tigers. The Team was based out of Vauxhall and friends say Odland is the reason the team exists.
“It’s a tragic loss for hockey,” says Keith Hitchcock, General Manager of Lethbridge Minor Hockey Association. “It’s devastating for the team. He was a big part of the entire southern Alberta female hockey.”
The SUV caught fire upon impact and while crews were able to extinguish the blaze relatively quickly, the jaws of life were used to extract the driver.
The same measures were used to extract the two other men trapped in the pickup truck.
Vauxhall was pronounced dead upon arrival at Lethbridge hospital. The 55-year-old driver from Enchant and a 33-year-old man from Calgary are both listed in stable condition.
Players say Kalvin brought passion and smiles to each practice and game. “He was someone that you could look up to and look forward to seeing at the rink and he had a laugh like no other laugh,” says Baillie Cej, a player on the Southeast Tigers.
“It’s shocking because you don’ t think these things will happen to these kinds of people,” says Tricia Van Vaerenbergh also a member of the team. “He was the best manager and it’s a huge loss.”
Parents are now concerned about the future of the Southeast Tigers. “Everyone knows in minor sports when you have a person that volunteers that when something tragic happens it’s hard to fill the position. He will be hard to replace,” says Rick Gal, a father of one of the players on the team.
But players insist they will not lose their edge when they take to the ice and will be playing in honour of Odland who allowed them to play the sport they love.
“It’s going to be a tough loss, but hopefully we can pitch in and accomplish what he did,” says Giulia Suriano, a player on the team.
RCMP continue to investigate the cause of the crash.