The stories of the 15 lives taken when a bus carrying a junior hockey team crashed with a truck continued to emerge Sunday as the town of Humboldt prepared a vigil to mourn those lost.
Defencemen Adam Herold and Xavier Labelle and bus driver Glen Doerksen were confirmed as being among the dead. So was the Humboldt Broncos statistics keeper, Brody Hinz.
Hinz was 18. Golden West Radio said in a statement that he was being mentored by Tyler Bieber, the team’s play-by-play announcer who was also killed in the Friday crash at a highway intersection in east-central Saskatchewan.
“Brody had recently joined our Golden West family, mentored by Tyler and the Bolt FM team,” Lydon Frieson, president of Golden West Radio, said in a statement posted on the station’s website. “Tragedy has hit our community and it reaches into every corner of life in Humboldt.”
Another company statement described Hinz as an intern still in high school.
The night of the crash marked a double tragedy for Hinz’s family. A relative said on Facebook that another family member lost a baby boy in Humboldt hospital shortly after being born.
The manager of Herold’s previous team, the Regina Pat Canadians, confirmed his death to The Canadian Press. The defenceman would have turned 17 on Thursday.
John Smith noted that Herold played for the Regina team until just weeks ago, but was sent to join the Broncos for their playoff round when the Pat Canadians’ season wrapped up.
Smith described Herold as a hard worker and a good leader, noting that Herold was team captain for the 2017-2018 season.
Labelle, 18, was confirmed dead by his brother Isaac Labelle in an Instagram post.
“I have no words to describe what I’m feeling. Best friends, teammates, allies, brothers,” Isaac Labelle wrote. “We’ve been through so much together. We had a special bond from the day you were born.”
Doerksen’s employer, Charlie’s Charters, posted about the driver’s death on Facebook. Another team he drove for, the Kinistino Tigers, also issued a statement.
“In talking to him, he spoke at length of his time in rinks with his own family and now how much he enjoyed being able to take and watch other teams from minor, to senior to SJHL to their hockey games,” a spokesperson for the Tigers wrote on Facebook.
“We will never forget the smile on your face as we left Allan after winning the Championship and got you to give ‘two honks for the Cup,’” they wrote.
The names of the dead and injured have not been released by police, but some have been confirmed by family members and others.
The others killed include the junior hockey team’s head coach, Darcy Haugan, captain Logan Schatz, forwards Jaxon Joseph and Logan Hunter, defenceman Stephen Wack.
The pews were full this morning at the St. Augustine Catholic Church in Humboldt, where Rev. Joseph Salish told parishioners that if they feel like crying, they should cry.
“Our lives will never be the same again,” he said. “Wound is the place where light enters you… our response is to open ourselves in prayer.”
Between masses, streams of people — many of them red-eyed from crying — hugged each other as they attended a Knights of Columbus breakfast that had already been scheduled in the church’s recreation room.
Over stacks of pancakes topped with whipped cream, people spoke about how much the team means to the community. One woman brought money she said was donated by family members in Alberta.
It was decided that all funds from the breakfast would go to the Broncos.
A vigil is scheduled for tonight at the Broncos’ home arena, where the community will gather to grieve, remember those they’ve lost and offer support for the loved ones they left behind.
As of early Sunday morning, a crowdfunding effort on the website GoFundMe had raised more than $3 million for the players and families affected by the crash.
Kelly Geraldine Malone and Ryan McKenna, The Canadian Press