Castlegar vigil to be held to honour victims of Humboldt Broncos tragedy

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The Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League has announced a new program that will support players and families after the Humboldt Broncos were involved in a crash that killed 15 people associated with the team.

Fifteen people died and 14 were hospitalized when a tractor-trailer crashed into the team's bus on Highway 35 around 30 kilometres north of Tisdale.

The driver of the Posse bus - who was credited with preventing a much more serious accident involving a rollover - was injured and taken to hospital, and others reported soft-tissue injuries.

The Calgary resident said he and his five-year-old son placed a hockey stick on their front porch on Saturday night, after the full extent of Friday's crash had emerged. He said the tragedy really hit home for them.

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Fourteen people were injured in the crash.

Hockey commentators Don Cherry and Ron MacLean as well as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau were among those in attendance at a touching vigil in Humboldt Sunday evening.

"He loved his teammates and I think that was more important to him than the actual sport he was playing". "That could have been any group of kids travelling".

A local hockey coach who works with similarly-aged students reflected on the loss of head coach Darcy Haugan, a mentor who became family to the team.

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"This is something that kids could do to feel like they're making a difference and showing solidarity with the people of Humboldt". The coroner's office provided Nadine Machiskinic's family with two different autopsy reports, one which said she could have got into the laundry chute on her own, another that said such a feat was "unlikely". Cross was from Strasbourg, Sask., where he played hockey before joining the Broncos' coaching staff.

The crowd packed a donation box with money for the Humboldt community, and minor hockey players signed a poster board with condolences.

"I was getting ready to cook supper and then I got a phone call from a friend of mine who told me to put the news on and sure enough I turned it on and started to call some friends back in Humboldt, people we just visited a year ago to see what was going on and if it was even real".

"You're best friends with everybody on the team ..."

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"Our hearts and prayers go out to the Labelle and Tobin families this morning", Broncos president Kevin Garinger said in a statement, "as we continue to do everything in our power to support all families of victims of this tragedy and every member of the Humboldt Broncos community".

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