A former Surrey Eagle has been confirmed as one of the 15 people who died in a horrific bus crash involving a junior hockey team in Saskatchewan Friday.
Jaxon Joseph died along Humboldt Broncos captain Logan Schatz and head coach Darcy Haugan when the team’s bus collided with a semi-truck on the way to a playoff game.
In a statement on Twitter Saturday morning, the Eagles said Joseph played for the team in the 2015-16 season.
Joseph, who’s former NHL player Chris Joseph’s son, played centre for the Broncos.
Kelly Schatz, Logan’s father, says his 20-year-old son played for the Broncos for just over four years and had served as team captain for the past two-and-a-half years.
He says the family is seeking solace in one another.
“It’s hard,” Kelly Schatz said. “I’ve got four other kids and they’re here, which is nice.”
Haugan was a father of two who mentored many young players over the years as a coach, according to social media tributes.
“He will always be a great man in our hearts,” his sister posted on Twitter under the name Debbie Jayne. “The tears just keep coming.”
RCMP said initially that 28 people were on the bus and 14 were injured. Later Saturday, RCMP said 29 people were on the bus and 15 were sent to hospital. Three were in critical condition.
The team was on its way to play in Game 5 of a semi-final playoff game against the Nipawin Hawks.
Darren Opp, president of the Hawks, said a semi T-boned the players’ bus.
On Saturday morning, Nipawin was quiet. A church which had been a place for families to gather while they awaited news of their loved ones was deserted, as was Centennial Arena, home of the Hawks.
Meanwhile, offers of help are pouring in for families of team members. More than $270,000 has been raised thus far.
With files from Ryan McKenna, The Canadian Press.