Like many of you, I was shocked and deeply saddened to hear of the tragic bus accident that has taken the lives of 16 hockey players, coaches, and staff of the Humboldt Broncos Junior A Hockey Club.
It felt as if the whole country stood still when news of just how horrible of an accident this was started to emerge. Since then we have done our best to support the families, players, and community of Humboldt as they grieve. I have reached out to a member of Coach Darcy Haugan’s family in Fort St. John and passed along our sadness for them and our condolences.
We truly are a hockey country and I know many Canadians have been thinking of the countless hours they have spent riding on similar buses, or as parents thinking of all the times their children have taken similar trips.
As a hockey dad myself, the news really hit home. I have a son that’s trying to play Junior A hockey and one of the youngest to pass away on that bus ride was born the same year as my son. My son had also just recently dyed his hair blonde for his playoffs, just like those boys on the bus.
It has been heartening to see people all over the country, and even the world, come together to offer their support, whether by making a donation to the GoFundMe campaign that has raised millions of dollars for the Humboldt Broncos, leaving their hockey sticks out on the porch as a tribute, or wearing their jerseys on April 12.
Other stories have emerged as well, including the thousands of people who have signed their donor cards after hearing how one of the victims, Logan Boulet, had just recently signed his when he turned 21 and now his organs were saving the lives of at least six people in Saskatchewan.
Every victim of this horrible accident has an important story to tell. Unfortunately, there is not enough space here for me to tell them all. Instead, I would like to pay tribute to them by simply writing their names.
Dayna Brons, 24
Parker Tobin, 18
Darcy Haugan, 42
Brody Hinz, 18
Logan Schatz, 20
Jaxon Joseph, 20
Adam Herold, 16
Mark Cross, 27
Tyler Bieber, 29
Stephen Wack, 21
Logan Hunter, 18
Conner Lukan, 21
Glen Doerksen, 59
Evan Thomas, 18
Jacob Leicht, 19
Logan Boulet, 21
As we as a country mourn this incredible loss and we do our best to support their families and friends, as well as those who survived during their long road to recovery, I urge you to take a moment and hug your loved ones close. If this tragedy has taught us anything, it’s that life is precious and you never truly know when that final goodbye will come.
To those directly affected by this tragedy, please know that you are, and will continue to be, in our thoughts and prayers.
Bob Zimmer is the Member of Parliament for Prince George-Peace River-Northern Rockies.