Victims slowly identified in Canadian hockey team bus crash disaster; death toll rises to 15

The identities of some of those killed in the crash of a bus carrying a Canadian junior hockey team headed to a playoff game were revealed Saturday, as relatives learned the team’s coach and team captain were among the dead.

Also Saturday, police said a 15th person had died, with 14 others injured. Earlier, investigators said 14 were dead.

This aerial photo shows the wreckage of a fatal crash outside of Tisdale, Saskatchewan.  (Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press via AP)

The 15 fatalities were 10 players, two coaches, the bus driver, a team volunteer and a broadcaster, the Saskatoon StarPhoenix reported.

The bus, carrying the Humboldt Broncos of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League, collided with a semi-truck on a highway in Tisdale, Sask., around 5 p.m. There were 29 people onboard at the time of the crash, including the driver, police said.

Relatives of the team’s head coach Darcy Haugan and captain Logan Schatz confirmed their deaths.

CBC News reported Haugan’s death and his wife, Christina, confirmed the news to reporters. His sister also tweeted, “My brother didn’t make it…”

Schatz, 20, had been the captain for the past two and a half years of his four-year run on the team, his father, Kelly, told the Associated Press.


Tyler Bieber, a radio announcer who did play-by-play for the team, also died, the Associated Press reported. The AP cited Bieber’s friend, Jordan Seipp, and manager whose company owns the Humboldt station, CHBO, where Bieber worked.

The welcome sign in Humboldt, Saskatchewan, Canada, honoring the members of the Humboldt Broncos hockey team in on Saturday.  (Liam Richards/The Canadian Press via AP)

Police did not immediately release the names of all those who died.

The Broncos were on their way to Game 5 of the semifinals against the Nipawin Hawks. Nipawin is about 164 miles from Saskatoon. After receiving word of the crash, the Hawks announced on Facebook that the game had been canceled.

The truck driver was not injured during the crash and initially was detained but has since been released, RCMP Assistant Commissioner Curtis Zablocki said. The official added that an investigation was underway and the cause of the crash was not yet clear.


Humboldt Mayor Rob Muench, in the Broncos team jersey, along with other mourners lay down flowers on the stairs that enter to Elgar Petersen Arena, home of the Humboldt Broncos, on Saturday.  (Liam Richards/The Canadian Press via AP)

The western Canadian town of Humboldt, Sask., which has a population of about 6,000, was devastated by the crash, with mourners leaving flowers at the Elgar Petersen Arena, home to the hockey team.

“It’s overwhelming. It’s been tough on everybody,” Humboldt Mayor Rob Muench told the Associated Press. “We’re a small community, some of those kids have been on the team for a number of years. A lot grew up in the community and everybody knows each other.”

In a statement Saturday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the “entire country was in shock and mourning.”

“We are heartbroken knowing many of those we lost had their entire lives in front of them. We grieve with those facing news no parent or family should ever have to face,” Trudeau said. “This is every parent’s worst nightmare. No one should ever have to see their child leave to play the sport they love and never come back.”

Both President Trump and Vice President Pence tweeted Saturday offering their condolences for “the terrible Humboldt Team tragedy.”

Fox News’ Stephen Sorace, Carolyn Salazar and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

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