Nearly two weeks after Ryan Straschnitzki and the rest of his Humboldt Broncos hockey team were involved in a devastating, deadly crash on a rural Saskatchewan highway, the Airdrie native will be continuing his recovery at home in Alberta.
LISTEN: 630 CHED’s Ryan Jespersen speaks with Michelle Stratschnitzki
Ryan was one of 13 people injured when a bus carrying the hockey team, trainers and coaches collided with a semi-truck at a highway intersection near Tisdale on April 6. The 18-year-old suffered a broken back and is paralyzed from the chest down.
WATCH: Ryan Straschnitzki, an Airdrie hockey player paralyzed in the Humboldt Broncos bus crash is now back in Alberta. Blake Lough reports.
After the crash, Ryan was taken to hospital in Nipawin, where he was treated before being airlifted to the Royal University Hospital in Saskatoon, where he’d been staying until Thursday.
“I think he’s happy about being closer to home,” Ryan’s father, Tom, told Global News just before getting on the road back to Airdrie on Thursday.
Ryan, who turns 19 on Friday, flew home with his mother Thursday morning on a MedEvac plane.
“The care we got here in Saskatchewan was phenomenal. Everyone was great. So, I think he’ll miss that part but he is closer to home and now all his buddies can come see him,” Tom said.
LISTEN: Humboldt Broncos survivor Ryan Straschnitzki describes harrowing scene moments after Saskatchewan bus crash and losing his teammates.
Rayn will continue his recovery at the Foothills Hospital in Calgary, his father said, adding that he’s still in a considerable amount of pain.
“They figure about two, three months of rehab and trying to train him to be an individual and do it himself,” Tom said. “That’s just a ballpark figure.”
Tom said his son hopes the RCMP investigation into the crash will determine who was at fault and find ways to avoid any similar crashes in the future. He said Ryan has asked about what happened to the driver of the semi-truck, who was uninjured in the crash.
In a Thursday update on the investigation, Saskatchewan RCMP confirmed the truck was in the intersection when the collision happened, but didn’t say whether it was moving or stopped.
Investigators closed the intersection of highways 35 and 335 on Thursday as they carried out collision reconstruction work, which included vehicles similar to those involved in the crash, in hopes of getting further measurements and analysis of sight lines.
RCMP said it’s too early to say whether criminal charges will be laid.
WATCH: Assistant Commissioner Curtis Zablocki said there are many unanswered questions including the reasons why the truck was in the intersection at the time of the collision.
Six people remained in hospital as of 2:15 p.m. Thursday, two of them in critical condition, the Saskatchewan Health Authority said in an update on patient condition.