Funerals held for two players, bus driver who died in Saskatchewan hockey bus crash
The Canadian Press
Published Friday, April 13, 2018 4:11AM EDT
Last Updated Friday, April 13, 2018 9:24PM EDT
Funerals were held Friday for two players and their driver who died last week after a semi-truck and a bus collided in rural Saskatchewan as the Humboldt Broncos were travelling to a junior hockey playoff game. One family requested privacy, another livestreamed the mass and a third urged mourners to make some noise. Here are some moments from each:
Jacob Leicht's mother asked the 2,500 mourners who filled Elgar Petersen Arena in Humboldt to cheer for him one last time at his home rink.
Eleven chants of "Go Broncos Go" rang through the rafters, followed by 11 seconds of horns and noisemakers, to honour her son's jersey number.
"I think it will be a beautiful send-off to my beautiful boy," Celeste Leicht said.
Jacob, 19, was remembered by family friend and former coach Shaun Gardiner as a left-winger who lacked size but made up for it in hard work.
"Jacob was the classic underdog hockey player that everybody roots for," Gardiner said.
"He had the drive and the will to allow him to earn ice time, opportunities and playing time with all the teams he ever played for."
Hockey jerseys were draped over the coffin of the youngest victim of the crash while youths at the funeral mass for defenceman Adam Herold wore jerseys with his name and No. 10 on the back.
Adam was just under a week shy of his 17th birthday when he died.
Hockey gloves, a snowmobiling helmet, a hunting cap and a toy tractor were placed at the altar of Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church in his hometown of Montmartre, Sask.
Darrin McKechnie, who coached Adam when he played midget hockey, said he was the kind of boy you would want your son to emulate and your daughter to bring home.
Family friend Mike Blaisdell, who also once coached Adam, described the teen as having time for everyone.
"Adam talked to people old and young. It didn't matter," Blaisdell said. "He was interested and cared about everyone."
The line to get into the community hall in Carrot River, Sask., stretched around the building as people arrived for the funeral of bus driver Glen Doerksen.
A man placed two trade union flags with pictures of buses at the entrance of the mud-caked parking lot.
Two RCMP officers wearing their red serge and a group of men wearing hockey jerseys could be seen among the mourners.
Shortly after "Amazing Grace" was played, a man carrying an urn from the hall and a woman holding Doerksen's picture entered a white limousine.
Doerksen, who was 59, was described by his employer in a recent Facebook post as an "outstanding friend, husband, and father."