In a shocking turn of events, it was revealed Monday morning one of the players killed in the Humboldt Bronco’s bus crash was mistakenly identified as another player.
On April 6, a bus carrying the junior hockey team crashed with a semi-trailer. Fifteen people died, while the other 14 recover from injuries.
Parker Tobin, an 18-year-old goalie from Stony Plain, Alta., was first listed in stable condition. Now, it’s reported he was mistaken for Saskatoon’s Xavier Labelle.
Eighteen-year-old Labelle, originally reported as dead, is in fact alive.
His brother, Isaac, posted to Facebook Monday, “All I can say is miracles do exist. My deepest condolences to the Tobin family.”
RCMP and the provincial coroner have issued an apology for the mistake. Drew Wilby, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Justice, addressed media at the legislature.
“I want to apologize to both of those families on behalf of the office of the chief coroner and the government of Saskatchewan for the error that was made,” Wilby said.
“We’ve been in touch with the families, they’re fully aware, and I want to thank them for their professionalism. I want to thank them for their support.”
Wilby couldn’t confirm to what extent the families were involved, but said they played a role in the initial ID. While it’s not known how exactly the error happened, he noted some of the surrounding circumstances.
“A lot of these boys looked alike – they had the blonde hair that was supportive of their team for their playoff run. They had very similar builds.”
A spokesperson for the Humboldt Broncos sent condolences to the families of both players in the wake of the news.
“Our hearts and prayers go out to the Labelle and Tobin families this morning, 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.”
The players’ families issued a statement Monday afternoon, saying they are grieving together.
“They hope the focus will remain on those grieving and those recovering, not the confusion in an unimaginable tragedy.”
They asked for privacy not only from media, but also those using social media networks.
—With files from Sarah Mills