Head coach among 14 dead in Saskatchewan hockey team bus crash

UPDATE: Crowdfunding campaign for Humboldt Broncos breaks $1.5 million

UPDATE: Crowdfunding campaign for Humboldt Broncos breaks $1.5 million

The hockey team was on their way to a playoff game in Nipawin against the Hawks for Game 5 of their Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League (SJHL) series.

RCMP say 14 people are dead and 14 people were injured Friday after a truck collided with a bus carrying a junior hockey team to a playoff game in northeastern Saskatchewan. Authorities earlier said three were in critical but later provided an update to say that 15 have now died.

The Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League is a junior "A" hockey league under Hockey Canada, which is part of the Canadian Junior Hockey League.

Canadiens defenceman Brett Lernout played 2 1/2 seasons in the WHL for the Swift Current Broncos, a team that was touched by tragedy when four players were killed in a bus crash in 1986. "I've got four other kids and they're here, which is nice".

"My worst fear as a player and a parent", she said.

Darren Opp, president of the Nipawin Hawks, who the Broncos were set to play against, said a semi T-boned the players' bus - an account police confirmed.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted his support for Humboldt.

A GoFundMe has been started to raise money for the victims.

"Saskatchewan, these are our boys", Premier Scott Moe tweeted in response to a photo shared by R J Patter, whose son Derek plays for the Broncos and is now recovering in a Saskatoon hospital. "Our whole community is in shock, we are grieving, and we will continue to grieve throughout this ordeal as we try to work toward supporting each other".

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We pray for those families and think about them, and I don't know what else you say. A number of Stephenson's close friends are from his junior league hockey days, he said, relationships that were strengthened by travel and community support.

"There's connections everywhere it seems, it's a tight-knit family in hockey", said Chilman, who said she also knew the assistant coach of the team who was involved in the crash. "We know that the coroner and their office needs to do their work and let families know".

The crash took place at around 5:00 pm (2300 GMT) Friday on Highway 35 about 28 kilometres (18 miles) north of the town of Tisdale, a trading centre in an overwhelmingly agricultural region of the western province.

"It's terrible", said Morrissey, who played his junior hockey in nearby Prince Albert. "We've all been on those buses, on those roads and you just feel for these families because it's just a frightful situation".

The STARS Air Ambulance service said two of its helicopters flew to the scene.

Broncos President Kevin Garinger says parents are at a loss.

The Swift Current Broncos also shared their condolences.

"Words can not describe the loss that we feel tonight", Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe said on Facebook.

"Words cannot describe the loss that we feel tonight", Premier Scott Moe wrote on Twitter. Edmontonian Jaxon Joseph, who formerly played for the St. Albert Raiders and is the son of former National Hockey League defensemen Chris Josep, 21-year-old defensemen Stephen Wack and 18-year-old Logan Hunter, both of St. Albert, Alta., have also died. "Spent a lot of time on a bus playing junior hockey in western Canada". Earlier Friday, Moe thanked first responders and medical professionals for their "courageous response under the most hard circumstances imaginable". It's open to North American-born players from the ages of 16 to 20.

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