‘To keep his name alive:’ Families honour those who died in Broncos bus crash

Sixteen people were killed and 13 other hockey players were injured one year ago today in Saskatchewan

Families of those who died in the Humboldt Broncos bus crash say scholarships, events and places named in their honour helps keep their memories alive.

Sixteen people — including 10 players and the head coach — were killed and 13 players were injured one year ago when the junior hockey team’s bus and a semi collided at a rural intersection in Saskatchewan.

THE 13 SURVIVORS: Healing slow to come for some after Humboldt crash

Dozens of bursaries and scholarships have been created in memory of those killed. Their names are also attached to arenas, dressing rooms, playgrounds and even a snowmobile shack.

Scott Thomas of Saskatoon, who lost his son Evan, said the memorials are an important part of grieving.

A tattered flag waves in the wind in honour of the victims of the April 6, 2018 bus crash that took the lives of 16 and injured 13, in Humboldt, Sask., Sunday, March 24, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Matt Smith

“It means the world to our family,” he said. “It’s just a way to keep his name alive, if you will. To us, it’s a statement about the impact that he had in those communities in the short amount of time that he was here on this Earth.”

Thomas said some of the honours are related to the size and scope of the tragedy that hit the hockey team.

“On the other hand, I think a lot of it is just about Evan. He affected a lot of people. He was just a good kid.”

Many parents said they have been inundated with support from their communities.

“It’s kind of overwhelming,” said Carol Brons of Lake Lenore, Sask. Her daughter, Dayna, the team’s athletic therapist, was killed.

“When she passed away, we knew we wanted to set up something … to help.”

A flag waves outside a home in honour of the victims of the April 6, 2018 bus crash that took the lives of 16 and injured 13, in Humboldt, Sask., Sunday, March 24, 2019. (Matt Smith/The Canadian Press)

They directed money to the Royal University Hospital in Saskatoon and Mount Royal University in Calgary in the weeks after she died.

Since then, Brons said, there have also been bursaries created at the University of Regina and through the CFL Saskatchewan Roughriders. “It’s a way to give somebody else an opportunity to do what they want to do.”

READ MORE: Green Shirt Day to honour Humboldt Broncos organ donor

READ MORE: Survivors, families mark Broncos tragedy forever with ink

Several families have also created memorial trusts and foundations as a way to give back to the community.

“You’re trying to keep Adam’s memory alive and let people know the person he was,” said Russell Herold of Montmartre, Sask., whose family created the Adam Herold Memorial Foundation.

“He would have done a lot of good things in his life if he would have had the opportunity. In some regards, we’re doing some of the things he would have done for others.”

The foundation’s goal is to provide opportunities to Saskatchewan youth to develop and refine hockey and leadership skills. It will provide top trainers for skill development, physical and mental training, coaching development and ongoing support for hockey programs in rural communities.

#HUMBOLDTSTRONG number stickers remain a common sight in Humboldt, Sask. on Sunday, March 24, 2019. (Matt Smith/The Canadian Press)

Thomas, whose family has created a memorial trust in Evan’s name, said they will hold events such as a memorial hockey day on April 13 and a baseball tournament in June.

“We’ve gotten so much,” he said in an interview last week. “As much as something was taken away from us, we still get letters in the mail every week. We opened the mailbox the other day and had a letter from someone in Halifax. We opened a letter yesterday from a gentleman in Saskatoon who sent a $20 cheque for Evan’s memorial trust.”

When he was travelling through the Calgary airport in March, a waitress serving him saw him watching news coverage of the truck driver’s sentencing.

“She said, ‘I recognize you. You’re a Broncos dad.’ And she wouldn’t let me pay for the meal,” said Thomas. ”She started crying. That’s how much this tragedy has affected people, so anything we can do to give back.”

Colette Derworiz, The Canadian Press

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

Comments are closed

Just Posted

‘Justice for Mona’ protests planned in Kelowna, Lower Mainland

Security camera footage shows Mona Wang being dragged, stepped on during RCMP wellness check

Neighbourhood pond dries up again

The RDCO filled up the pond on Hall Road but it’s drying up again

Orphaned Okanagan beavers admitted to rehab centre

The two beavers are in the care of the Fawcett Family Wildlife Health Centre

Intent of killing at centre of Surrey man’s West Kelowna murder trial

B.C. Supreme Court Justice Allison Beames is anticipated to return with her decision in August

Car smashes into Kelowna dollar store

The vehicle went through the front window of the store just off Highway 97 North

13 new B.C. COVID-19 cases, Langley Lodge outbreak ends

Health care outbreaks down to four, 162 cases active

Okanagan Realtors donate big to North Westside fire department

Two Kelowna-area Realtors made a generous donation to the North Westside Fire… Continue reading

SilverStar security recovers stolen bike

Reminders to residents to keep bicycles locked up, eyes open for suspicious activity

Penticton RCMP seek help locating missing woman

25-year-old Iesha Blomquist was reported missing to Penticton RCMP on June 30

Majority of residents in support of alcohol in outdoor spaces: City of Penticton

City council will vote on whether to continue allowing public consumption, on Tuesday, July 7

Princeton RCMP arrest suspects in violent Salmon Arm home invasion

Two men who allegedly staged a violent home invasion in Salmon Arm… Continue reading

LETTER: Questions raised about Summerland solar project

Site of proposed project has been considered for previous initiatives

Alberta health minister orders review into response after noose found in hospital in 2016

A piece of rope tied into a noose was found taped to the door of an operating room at the Grande Prairie Hospital in 2016

Most Read