B.C. hockey chaplain helps community grieve after Humboldt Broncos’ bus crash

Danny Stebeck ‘can’t imagine’ if the call had come that Vancouver Giants players were hurt

The chaplain of the Vancouver Giants opened up his church on Sunday night in hopes of helping his community come to terms with the crash that claimed 15 lives in Saskatchewan.

Police say that 15 people have died and 14 were injured after a tractor-trailer collided with the Humboldt Broncos bus on Highway 35. The team had been on its way to Game 5 of a semi-final playoff series against the Nipawin Hawks Friday evening.

“I identify very closely with what they’re going through and I can’t imagine if that’d been a call about our bus, how devastating that would be,” said Lighthouse Church pastor Danny Stebeck.

“I’m really feeling their pain.”

On Sunday morning, the death toll stood at 15, including head coach Darcy Haugan, former Surrey Eagle Jaxon Joseph, bus driver Glen Doerksen, sports reporter Tyler Bieber, and 11 players. Adam Herold, 16, was the youngest victim. 

Of the 14 in hospital, only 20-year-old Nick Shumlanski has been released so far.

READ: B.C. hockey moms’ jersey campaign supports Humboldt Broncos

Although Humboldt is two provinces away, Stebeck said that the far-flung nature of hockey means that everyone in the community is affected.

“The hockey community is so close, there’s people all over the Metro Vancouver area that are feeling it,” said Stebeck.

“I just wanted to show support and provide a space for people to grieve.”

The pain is especially poignant in Ladner, which hosts the practice arena for the Vancouver Giants.

Although their season has ended and the players are back home with their families, Stebeck said the community is in mourning – as are the players.

READ: Port Alberni shows support for Humboldt

“I’ve reached out to especially those [players] in Saskatchewan,” he said.

“One of the kids had a friend who lost his life in this bus crash, other are connected in various ways and they’re really feeling it.”

As a pastor, Stebeck is sadly familiar with tragedy.

“For people going through the deep hurt right now, the first step is just to acknowledge it, and allow it,” he said.

“We too often push it out of the way and try to carry on and pretend that we’re okay.”

A GoFundMe for the team had reached nearly $4.5 million as of Sunday morning.

The Ladner vigil took place at 6 p.m. at the Lighthouse Church and coincided with one being held at the Elgar Petersen Arena in Humboldt.


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Lake Country ceases tourism operations for 2020, Okanagan tourism continues to suffer

The District of Lake Country voted to suspend tourism on March 31

COVID-19: City of Kelowna defers property tax penalty, other city charges until September

The city is deferring interest and penalties to September, for those who need it

Kelowna RCMP seizes guns, illicit drugs following disturbance

RCMP seized three firearms and a variety of suspected illicit and prescription drugs

Okanagan temperatures to be in the double digits all week

Kelowna’s forecast projects a high of 17 degrees on Thursday

Man who allegedly spit on Kelowna cop facing assault charges

‘Spitting on anyone is always a serious assault but to do so in this current pandemic is particularly unacceptable’

WATCH: Kelowna songwriters release health care workers video tribute

The couple recently asked for selfies from frontline workers to include in the music video

UPDATE: Coronavirus concerns prompt event cancellations across the Okanagan

This is a running list of events cancelled across the Okanagan

Van crashes into Kamloops home

Police say the driver went into medical distress before the crash

Salmon Arm Silverbacks remember Humboldt Broncos on anniversary of fatal crash

Sixteen people killed, 13 injured after semi collided with team bus on April 6, 2018

Giants Head Grind postponed

Uphill race in Summerland will not proceed due to COVID-19 pandemic

UPDATE: UK PM Boris Johnson moved to intensive care after COVID-19 symptoms worse

He has been quarantined in his Downing St. residence since being diagnosed with COVID-19 on March 26

Travellers, travel agents ‘in agony’ over refund policies and customer service

Many Canadian carriers are offering customers flights rebookings or travel vouchers — but not refunds

Proximity to border becoming a concern: Osoyoos mayor

Osoyoos residents are concerned about people not quarantining after returning from the U.S.

Most Read