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Tributes paid to ice hockey players who died in Canada bus crash

Tributes have been paid to victims of a crash in Canada in which a truck collided with a bus carrying a youth ice hockey team.

Fifteen people were killed and another 14 injured in the tragedy, which happened on Saturday near Tisdale in Saskatchewan.

Scene of crash
Image:
The bus and truck were both seen on their side
Scene of crash

The bus, carrying the Humboldt Broncos to a play-off game against the Nipawin Hawks, had 29 people on board, including the driver, when it crashed at about 5pm local time (midnight in the UK) on Highway 35.

The tearful head of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League Bill Chow said: “The worst nightmare has happened.”

On Twitter, @DebbieJayneC said her brother, Broncos head coach Darcey Haugan, “didn’t make it”.

Broncos captain Logan Schatz, 20, was also killed alongside teammates Adam Herold, 16, Jaxon Joseph, 20, Xavier Labelle, 18, Logan Hunter, 18, and Stephen Wack, 21.

Tyler Bieber, a local radio announcer, was also among the victims.

Jaxon Joseph was described as having a “positive energy”.

The Broncos posted this picture last month. Pic: Twitter/Humboldt Broncos
Image:
The Broncos posted this picture last month. Pic: Twitter/Humboldt Broncos

His former coach Blaine Neufeld said: “Something particular about Jaxon was that he had a particular smile. He lit up the room.

“His positivity, his excitement, his energy, his work ethic, brought a positive energy and experience to the guys.”

Paul McAvoy, who used to play alongside him at Surrey Eagles, said: “He made a tremendous impact, not only on the ice, as a person in the locker room.”

Adam Herold’s former manager John Smith said he was “one of the finest young men I had the pleasure of managing”.

He added: “The world lost a fine upstanding young man.”

The president of Logan Hunter’s former club, Kevin Porter, said he had a “great sense of humour, always had a smile on his face”.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will attend a vigil on Sunday evening for those who survived the crash.

Logan Hunter
Image:
Logan Hunter was among the victims. Pic: Humboldt Broncos website

Aerial footage from the scene showed the bus on its side, its roof peeled back and its front end destroyed.

The truck was also on its side nearby, with its cargo scattered across the road.

Derek Patter, Greyson Cameron and Nick Shumlanski were among those hurt.

Another player, Ryan Straschnitzki, suffered a severe back injury, said his father Tom Straschnitzki.

“He’s alive and breathing, and from what we know he has a broken back, and as of now, can’t feel anything from his waist down.

“I think he’s still in shock, still asking how everyone is and who perished and who didn’t.”

A GoFundMe page to raise money for families affected by the crash had raised £1.5m just 24 hours after it was created.

“An entire country is in shock and mourning,” Prime Minister Justin 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.”

Police said the truck driver was detained but later released.

Officers added it was too early to say what the cause of the crash was.

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