Amazing, selfless, heroic and infectious laughter are some of the words family members and friends use to describe the 15 people killed in the tragic bus crash Friday night.
Parker Tobin, 18, Stony Plain, N.L.
Tobin was from Newfoundland and played goal for the Broncos. Although he was originally listed as injured, he actually died in the crash.
On Monday morning RCMP sent out a news release explaining that one of the players killed in the crash was mistakenly identified as Xavier Labelle, who was injured but has in fact survived. The provincial coroner and RCMP apologized for the mistake and extended condolences to the families of both players.
Darcy Haugan, from Peace River, Alta., head coach
Haugan was the Humboldt Bronco’s head coach and is described as an amazing mentor to his players and a family man.
“He will always be a great man in our hearts,” his sister posted on Twitter under the name Debbie Jayne.
Broncos vice president Randy MacLean said Haugan was focused on making his players good men as well as good hockey players.
“Darcy’s approach to coaching is not about coaching, it’s about kids. It’s about relationships, it’s about players coming in and being better players when they leave than when they came in and more importantly, being better people.”
Gail Chilman was his billet mom when he played hockey in Estevan in the 1990s. She remembers him as a kind, amazing person.
“Darcy was the kindest, gentlest man. Don’t get me wrong, when he was coaching hockey he could throw a little temper tantrum, but he was just the best guy going. If you talk to any of the players that he’s coached or been with, they will all agree, he’s just the best person ever,” Chilman said.
Mark Cross, 27, from Strasbourg Sask., assistant coach
Cross was 27 and worked as the Bronco’s assistant coach. He also played for the Estevan Bruins before going to Ontario University Athletics and leading the York Lions. He returned to Saskatchewan to coach.
Assistant coach Chris Beaudry was driving his own vehicle to the game the night of the crash.
Speaking with the Canadian Press, he described his colleague, Cross, as one of the happiest people he’s ever met. Cross was from Strasbourg, Sask., where he played hockey before joining the Broncos’ coaching staff.
“His first game, we found a tin of mints and ever since then it’s been alternating back and forth, buying mints for each other and sharing it as a joke. We’d end up gong through a whole tin every game,” said Beaudry.
“He was a beautiful guy to be around.”
Logan Schatz, 20, from Allan, Sask., team captain
Schatz played for the Broncos for four years and was the team captain for the past two and a half years. He was considered the team’s “best-kept secret” to win.
Schatz played for the Broncos for four years and was the team captain for the past two and a half years. He was considered the team’s “best kept secret” to win.
Speaking to 980 CJME by phone, Logan’s father Kelly Schatz described his son as a true leader both on and off the ice.
In the wake of the tragedy, he is learning more about his son’s kindness within the community.
A teammate wrote that Logan talked him into staying and sticking it out when he was very homesick. He also always made time for the youngest hockey players in the community, signing autographs and helping them out when he could.
Throughout his years playing hockey, Schatz said his son was always called up to play with older teams due to his skill. Despite the age gap in some ways he was more mature and he was made the captain of almost every team he played for.
“The last time I spoke to him it was after the triple-overtime loss against Nipawin. He was feeling bad because they lost the game and I told him it’s not over yet – you guys can still do this. We hugged and he said ‘yep, we’re not out of this yet, we’ll win the next one and bring it back home.’”
Schatz said all five of their children have always been very close and tight-knit and so is their extended family.
“That will help them get through it and they will help us get through it as well, but it’s going to be very tough.”
He said their family is feeling overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from across the province and the country.
Jaxon Joseph, 19, from Edmonton, Alta.
Joseph played forward and was among the leading scorers in the SJHL. His death was confirmed by the Surrey Eagles, his former team in the British Columbia Hockey League
His past teammates said he brightened up any room he was in. His dad is former NHLer Chris Joesph.
Stephen Wack, 21, from St. Albert, Alta.
Wack was a defenceman and played with the Broncos for two seasons. Outside of hockey, Wack’s hobby was making videos.
On Twitter his brother Justin Wack @J_wack described him as “always the most selfless, modest, and humble person imaginable.”
He also sent out a link to one of his brother’s videos which was aired on Hockey Night in Canada.
Hi guys, I am the little brother of Stephen Wack, who didn't make it last night in the accident. he was really talented at making videos. I was wondering if you could play this one on HNIC for him tonight? I know he'd really appreciate it. https://t.co/wQUOqt6SNs
— Justin Wack (@J_wack) April 7, 2018
Evan Thomas, 17, from Saskatoon, Sask.
Thomas was known for his dedication to hockey.
Scott Thomas remembered his 18-year-old son as a strong athlete — playing both hockey and baseball — and a good student. But he was a teammate first.
“He liked sports, but at times I think he tolerated sports so he could be a teammate,” Thomas told Canadian Press. “He just loved being a teammate. He loved his teammates and I think that was more important to him than the actual sport he was playing.
“He loved those boys. He really loved those boys.”
Logan Hunter, 17, St. Albert, Alta.
Shauna Nordstrom is Logan Hunter’s mom and spoke to Global News, she said her son will be remembered for his kind heart, recalling how he would greet their dog every day.
Her voice cracked with emotion as she described how her son’s ultimate dream was to play junior A hockey and she’s so proud that he did it. She said he loved being on the Broncos.
“He loved every game and he loved every shift and his teammates, he loved Humboldt, he loved being in Humboldt, Saskatchewan,” Nordstrom told Global Regina.
She said she will never forget her last moments with her son.
“I got to hold his beautiful head and I got to kiss his face and he was wearing his St. Albert sports academy jersey. He loved day to day life.”
Conner Lukan, 20, Slave Lake, Alta.
Lukan played forward and joined the Broncos this season. Former teammates said he enjoyed life and had dreams of getting a scholarship to play in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).
Jacob Leicht, 18, Humboldt, Sask.
Leicht was a native of Humboldt. A family member shared on Facebook that his laughter was contagious and he had a smile that lit up any room.
Lauren Keifer was one of Leicht’s teachers in Humboldt.
“He was a very amazing kid, he was a huge leader in the school and a leader in the community, Keifer said.
She said it will be very difficult to go back in the classroom and process this tragedy.
Adam Herold, 16, Monmartre Sask.
Herold was the youngest victim of the Humboldt Broncos bus tragedy, he was just called up to help the team in the playoffs.
He was captain of the Regina Pats Canadiens.
Ben Solomon played with Herold for Prairie Storm in the Bantam AA league and he is sharing his memory of his former teammate.
“Adam’s a one of a kind guy, he is like no other friend I have had or know of, he is an intelligent strong young man, respectful,” Solomon said.
“He is a well-respected guy in general, he is always brought a warm heart to the rink and outside of the rink as well.”
Herold would have been 17 on Thursday.
Logan Boulet, 21, from Lethbridge, Alta.
Boulet was injured and put on life support. He had just signed a donor card on his 21st birthday. A family friend posted on Facebook that doctors have found matches for all of his organs will go to give hope to six people.
His dad Toby Boulet told Global News in a statement “even in his eventual passing, he will be a selfless hero.”
Tyler Bieber, 29, Humboldt Sask., play-by-play announcer
Bieber worked for Golden West Radio as the play-by-play announcer for the Broncos. He was also an avid football fan and formerly wrote a CFL blog. He is being remembered by a former coworker as a “great guy” and a prankster with a wonderful sense of humour.
Brody Hinz, 18, team statistician
Hinz was just 18 years old and a high school student who volunteered to be the team statistician.
“He came to us and said to Darcy (head coach) and said I want to be involved, what can I do,” Broncos vice president Randy MacLean said. “He was great with computers and had a really cool skill with mathematics and analytics and that’s what he did.”
MacLean described Hinz as a really neat kid who loved being a student and a member of the Humboldt Broncos family.
He is also being remembered by the local soup kitchen as someone who was always willing to help out.
Glen Doerksen, bus driver
Doerksen was the bus driver, and his death was confirmed by his employer Charlie’s Charter.
Other hockey teams he drove for said even in horrible conditions they felt safe with Doerksen behind the wheel.
There were 14 other people injured in the crash. On Sunday afternoon Broncos president Kevin Garinger confirmed one player had already been released from hospital.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This story has been updated to reflect a correction made by RCMP and the provincial coroner to explain that two players, Xavier Labelle and Parker Tobin had been mistaken for each other. Tobin died in the crash and Labelle was injured but survived.
-with files from Chris Vandenbreekel and Canadian Press