Humboldt Broncos coach, killed in bus crash, played at NMU

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Canadians have rallied round the victims' families, as a GoFundMe page has been launched with $2.9 million (£1.6m) raised in less than 48 hours.

The Humboldt Broncos, who play in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League, were travelling to a game against the Nipawin Hawks.

"The Humboldt Broncos were about - not building hockey players - but creating incredible young men".

The Broncos are a close-knit team from the small city of Humboldt, Saskatchewan, which has a population of about 6,000.

"I've known Conner for several years, playing against him throughout the majority of my minor hockey career and trying out for a handful of teams with him".

Tragedy has struck this country as a bus carrying a junior hockey team in Saskatchewan collided with a transport truck killing fifteen people on board.

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While the investigation continues, the home of the Humboldt Broncos hockey team has become a scene of mourning, support, and strength.

The mayor said he talked on the phone with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who passed along condolences from world leaders.

Fourteen people who were aboard the bus have been taken to hospital, and two of them are still in a critical condition.

The coach of the NHL's Washington Capitals, Barry Trotz, who played for Regina in the SJHL and then in the Western Hockey League, said every NHL player could relate to the Broncos on the bus. "It's just unfathomable for those families", she said Saturday morning.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police Assistant Commissioner Curtis Zablocki said it is too early to state a cause for the crash. "To the entire Humboldt community: We are here for you".

Photographs of the wreckage showed the twisted trailer with most of its wheels in the air and the bus on its side with its back portion destroyed.

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The intersection where the accident occurred has stop signs and flashing lights. "We decided (the song) needed to happen, we sat down (Saturday) and wrote this little tribute", McDougall said.

Alerted to the collision with a semi-trailer around dinner-time, Joseph and his wife, Andrea, jumped in their vehicle in Edmonton and headed east towards the crash outside Tisdale, Sask., without any details of their son's condition.

"It's overwhelming. It's been tough on everybody", Muench said. Daigon Elny, a member of last year's team, told CBC, "We were a family". The bus, which was going north, was ferrying the team to a game in Nipawin at the time of the accident.

"If you come out across that intersection, the guy in the bus is absolutely, totally unaware that you're going to pull out in front of him because he doesn't even see you until you're both looking at each other".

The Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League is a junior "A" hockey league under Hockey Canada, which is part of the Canadian Junior Hockey League. The team includes 24 players, ages ranging from 16 to 21.

You send your kid away - in my case to junior hockey - or college hockey, or college soccer, and I always used to think about those vans that the coaches were driving in college soccer: I always thought those were a nightmare.

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