News Of Humboldt Broncos Tragic Bus Crash Hits Close To Home

News broke of the Humboldt Broncos junior hockey team being involved in a fatal bus crash surfaced late Friday night, which evolved into a nightmare situation as we learned 14 people were confirmed dead and 14 injured, on the bus carrying 28 people. The Broncos are a Junior “A” team in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League that include players aged 16-20, who were on their way to a playoff game against the Nipawin Hawks. While the identities of players and coaches have been yet to be released, I noticed people taking to twitter to announce the fatalities, and share updates.

I started my  career in Regina, Saskatchewan as a reporter and anchor for CTV Regina, where we regularly covered teams from across the province, which included the Humboldt Broncos. I distinctly remember reporting on the Broncos’ Canalta Cup Championship win over the Weyburn Red Wings, and getting to know the players and organization, who are from the small city of Humboldt, Saskatchewan with a population of 6,000. In my two years in Regina, I learned you don’t just cover a story or a sports team, you’re part of a very tight-knit community. While I moved from Saskatchewan in 2013 to the United States, I’ve always felt extremely connected to the province, to the point people think I was born and raised in Regina. There’s nothing like hockey in Saskatchewan – it’s the province in Canada where kids are born with skates on, making it the birth place of the most NHL players, and it’s a community where no matter who you are or where you’re from, you’re always welcome.

Saskatchewan’s junior hockey scene has experienced tragedy before. I remember covering the Regina Pats and Swift Current Broncos of the WHL, where we would always remember and honor the victims of the Broncos’ bus crash on December 30, 1986. To this day, the Broncos wear a patch on their jerseys commemorating the four victims of the crash: Trent Kresse, Scott Kruger, Chris Mantyka and Brent Ruff.

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The magnitude of this tragedy will undoubtedly affect the Humboldt Broncos, the lives of their families and friends, and the entire province of Saskatchewan for years to come. But if there’s one thing I learned, it’s that the community is a family – one that’s supporting eachother with a GoFundMe page for the victims’ families that has already reached $66,000 in a few short hours – and one that needs our widespread love and support, the same kind it shows others every single day.