Humboldt Broncos players remembered as stalwart community members
The town of Humboldt, Saskatchewan lost a lot more than a hockey team after a collision between the team bus and a semi-truck left 15 people dead and more than a dozen injured.
The streets were quiet on Sunday as the community grieved for the Broncos captain Logan Schutz, coaches Darcy Haugun and Mark Cross, the team’s statistician, radio play-by-play announcer and the driver of the bus.
FULL COVERAGE: Humboldt Broncos bus crash
Global News spoke to a Humboldt photographer who worked with the team who said the loss feels huge for the community. He’s been watching the team for 30 years and said his kids wear the Broncos jersey.
“They jump right in and are an integral part of the community here,” Richard Jenkins said.
“It’s so sad,” Jenkins said. “It’s incredible how much the players get involved in the community themselves and do all kinds of things for the community that is behind the scenes that you don’t often hear about – shoveling driveways and sidewalks and helping out in any way they can.”
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He said one player became an ambassador for diabetes after being diagnosed with the disease.
The whole town has come together to mourn on Sunday, with a vigil happening at the Broncos home arena in Humboldt in the evening.
In the parking lot, the cars of the players who didn’t make it back remain stranded – and people have left flowers on the windshields in honour of the victims.
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Town officials said they expect hundreds of people to attend the vigil, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe.
Jim Ramsay’s daughter sings the anthem at the hockey games – he says the whole community is affected by the tragedy.
“It affects everybody because you know everybody,” Ramsay told Global News. “It’s a small town … in a small town everything is close.
“But it brings everyone together.”
One of Les McInness’ children is in school with some of the boys. He says he’s billeted nine kids over the years and there’s been lots of tears over the past few days.
But that’s not stopping him from helping out. He’s running busses to and from the vigil tonight, which he expects to be a “big night.”
“We’re just praying for good things to happen.”
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