Reaction is pouring in after a deadly crash involving a Saskatchewan junior hockey team.
The Humboldt Broncos were traveling to Nipawin for game five of its third round playoff series when the team bus collided with a semi-trailer about 35 kilometres north of Tisdale.
Calum McAnally, a reporter for 107.5 Bolt FM in Humboldt, said the community is gathering Friday night at the local rink to grieve.
“It’s absolutely devastating right now. You just kind of sense it here that everyone’s just in shock and disbelief, including myself,” he said.
McAnally said he’s sick to his stomach because he went to school with some of the people on the bus.
“I’m not much older than these guys … I know them, I don’t know if they’re ok or not,” McAnally said, adding Humboldt is on edge.
“We’re all sitting here on our phones, on our computers, waiting for updates on social media. Things are going around, we don’t know what’s true or what’s false,” he said.
Travis, who works at the Co-op Gas Bar in Tisdale, told 650 CKOM “it’s just a very sad situation.”
He said a lot of people have been coming through talking about the crash.
RCMP have reported multiple fatalities in the collision.
Joe Lockhart is an amateur Ham radio operator.
He heard the STARS air ambulance make a radio call when they left the scene, saying five people were being taken to Royal University Hospital.
“This is really terrible,” he said. “This is something we’re going to be talking about for 30 years.”
“How horrible this is, these young lives being cut off so short.”
He also heard of a conversation that the pilot was having with staff at Royal University Hospital.
“There was a 20-year-old male that was having some difficulty and they were conversing with a doctor at RUH. What advice to give to make sure he was more stable. They weren’t too concerned about the condition he was currently in,” Lockhart said.
Norm Rudock owns radio station CJNE in Nipawin.
He said him and his staff have been on the radio letting people know that the families of those on the bus can gather at the Nipawin Apostolic Church.
“There’s a lot of support down there for them, there were some counselors brought in and quite a few fans from both sides,” he said. “The Nipawin Hawks hockey team was there as well for support,” Rudock said.
He said even though these kids play against each other, they love each other.
Rudock also took to the airwaves to let people know to stay away from the accident site on Highway 35 and junction of Highway 335.
“It is a bad intersection there. There’s a highway going straight east and west, and a really busy highway between Tisdale and Melfort, there’s been a lot of serious accidents at that corner,” he explained.
A gofundme page has been set up to support the families affected by the tragedy. More than $9, 000 had been raised as of 11 p.m.
Humboldt is roughly 110 kilometres east of Saskatoon.
— With files from Daniella Ponticelli, Sarah Wallace, Andrew Shepherd and Keenan Sorokan