It’s been just a little over two weeks now since the Humboldt Broncos Canadian junior hockey team bus crash on April 6, when the team’s bus collided with a semi-trailer truck in Armley, Saskatchewan. Sixteen people lost their lives and 13 others suffered injuries in the crash. It’s always sad when these types of tragedies occur, but the number of communities and people who have stepped up to show their support has been remarkable, as usual.
We can think back to Hurricane Harvey and how it destroyed Houston and the surrounding areas and how communities and athletes came together when Houston needed them most. Now, it’s Humboldt’s turn. As soon as the news broke about the accident, so many people were quick to respond in sending their condolences. A GoFundMe page was opened in their name to help raise money for the victims and their families. Twitter users started to use the hashtag #HumboldtStrong to show that there is strength in unity.
Not only did everyday people use the hashtag and make donations, the Boston Bruins Foundation donated $200,000 to the Humboldt Broncos Community. The more people heard about the accident, the more people wanted to help. At a Toronto Raptors NBA game, Grammy-award winning rapper Drake appeared courtside wearing a Humboldt Broncos jersey in honor of the victims. According to USA Today, Drake also joined the Raptors in the locker room after their win and had the players sign his jersey to commemorate and honor the victims. The Raptors then tweeted and listed all of the victims:
“Last night was bigger than basketball. For: Dayna Brons, Logan Schatz, Conner Lukan, Stephen Wack, Logan Hunter, Evan Thomas, Adam Herold, Jacob Leicht, Logan Boulet, Parker Tobin, Darcy Haugan, Mark Cross, Tyler Bieber, Brody Hinz, Glen Doerksen +the 13 battling”
However, with these types of crashes, there are always questions of who is at fault. Though there are seatbelts on coach buses, wearing them is not mandatory. Because these buses are used for long trips, players and coaches lie down on the seats for comfortability during long trips. According to CTV News, Ken Hardie, a member of the Liberal Party in the Canadian parliament, had proposed that seatbelts on coach buses become mandatory after the Humboldt crash. As of right now, there are no laws in Canada that require passengers to wear seatbelts on buses. No one can say that this could have prevented the tragedy, but it is a good start.
With the town of Humboldt still grieving over this calamity, it is safe to say that they are not alone on this difficult journey. The recent movement of leaving hockey sticks outside people’s houses in honor of the victims is something that can be seen as beautiful. It goes unsaid that you never want these types of disasters to happen, but it is remarkable that if and when they do, the power of sport and unity is stronger than anything.