It is a pain no parent should ever have to endure.
But that is what Scott Thomas and his family are doing after the loss of their 18-year-old son Evan in the Humboldt Broncos bus tragedy.
He shared his story with Global News.
“The coroner tells us when we go across the street that some of your sons aren’t going to look like you think they should look, some of them are going to be unrecognisable,” Scott said. “He was recognisable, I knew it was him as soon as I walked in the room. His face was covered in a little bit of blood so I wiped off the blood and there was his birthmark right there.”
Scott was travelling to Nipawin that Friday night for the Broncos playoff game against the Hawks and he had the devastating misfortune of coming upon the accident scene.
“You see over your shoulder that one ambulance goes flying by and okay one ambulance that’s not so bad, then the second one goes flying by and then the third one goes flying and you see the STARS coming,” Scott recalled. “We just saw enough to know which part of the bus was gone and it was the front part of the bus it was just obliterated, just gone. I knew right then he was gone.”
It’s hard for Scott to wrap his head around the perfectly timed sequence of events that made sure those two vehicles were on that very stretch of road at the very same time.
His only solace comes in remembering the joy Evan found in hockey.
“He liked the sports that he played but he loved his teammates, just loved his teammates. And he loved his teammates on that team,” Scott said.
And in spite of his grief, Scott finds the strength to acknowledge this tragedy could have happened anywhere.
“That accident could have happened on any stretch of highway anywhere in Canada at any time,” Scott said. “Any hockey parent has put their child on a bus or been on a bus and they understand that, that could have been their kid. Yeah you compete on the ice but that don’t matter, it doesn’t matter.”
Evan’s public memorial service is being planned to accommodate a large crowd at the SaskTel Centre in Saskatoon at 1 p.m.