Humboldt Broncos crash: 12 still in hospital, 4 in critical condition
Three days after the Humboldt Broncos bus crashed in northeastern Saskatchewan, killing 15 people and injuring 14 others, most of the survivors remain in hospital.
Dr. Mark Wahba of the Saskatchewan Health Authority told reporters in Saskatoon on Tuesday that four of the victims were in critical condition, four were in serious condition and four were stable.
The survivors include Saskatoon defenceman Xavier Labelle, who was originally misidentified and listed among the dead. "All I can say is miracles do exist," wrote his brother Isaac Labelle on Facebook on Monday.
Nicholas Shumlanski, from Tisdale, Sask., suffered several broken bones and an injury to his shoulder, and was released from hospital on Sunday, in time to attend a vigil for the victims.
Shumlanski posted on Twitter thanking people for their support.
Shumlanski’s parents live less than half a kilometre from the crash site and were among the first on the scene. They recounted the ordeal in an interview with CTV News Chief Anchor Lisa LaFlamme on Monday.
Nicholas also spoke with LaFlamme, telling her he was “feeling pretty blessed,” but adding that he hadn’t yet properly “processed it.”
“I don't think anyone is ever going to move on from this,” he said. “But the support helps.”
Ryan Straschnitzki, known by his nickname “Straz,” was more seriously injured. The 18-year-old from Airdrie, Alta., was paralyzed from the chest down and his mother said he likely won’t walk on his own again.
Straschnitzki's father posted a picture of him on Twitter Sunday with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who visited the victims in hospital.
“We may not agree on Politics,” the caption says. “But we sure do agree on Support. sure am proud our Prime Minister and his son showing up and chatting hockey. Thank you very much.”
We may not agree on Politics. But we sure do agree on Support. sure am proud our Prime Minister and his son showing up and chatting hockey. Thank you very much. pic.twitter.com/czD3BXhPTJ— Strazsr (@strazsr) April 8, 2018
Friends at Straschnitzki’s gym created a hat with the word “#Strazstrong” on the back that they plan to sell, to raise funds to help his recovery.
“The Straz Strong initiative is more about making sure we can raise enough money for Ryan so that, regardless of what happens, the decisions that he makes are right for Ryan and not based on what he can afford,” Cody Thompson of White Collar Boxing told CTV Edmonton.
Morgan Gobeil was also injured. His brother, Ryan Gobeil, shared a photo on Twitter that says his “first tattoo” is his brother’s heartbeat “from the ICU.”
Matthieu Gomercic of Winnipeg also survived. A Steinbach, Man., couple that billeted Gomercic when he played for the Steinbach Pistons told CTV Winnipeg that his injuries were relatively minor.
Curtis Smith, father of centre Tyler Smith, said on Facebook Monday that his son’s breathing tube had been taken out and that he was able to talk and swallow.
“Will go for MRI soon to address his other injuries,” Smith wrote. “Mainly his left side, broken collarbone and shoulder blade with some vascular and nerve damage.”
Smith is from Leduc, Alta., according to CTV Edmonton.
R.J. Patter, father of player Derek Patter, shared a photo on Saturday showing his son recovering alongside Shumlanski and Graysen Cameron of Olds, Alta.
Derek Grayson and Nick bonding and healing in hospital pic.twitter.com/DzesIoT27B— R J patter (@rjpatter) April 7, 2018
Patter’s brother, Mitch Patter, posted on Instagram that Derek was having surgery to repair a broken leg.
“Very grateful and lucky that I'm still able to talk to my younger brother,” he wrote.
Well it's been an emotional 24 hours to say the least. Very grateful and lucky that I'm still able to talk to my younger brother @pits_12 after the horrific tragedy that was instilled on the @sjhlbroncos yesterday. Wishing him good luck in surgery today to repair his broken tibia! To all the other families, friends and humboldt community, my heart is aching for you. I can't even begin to imagine what you are going through. The grief and trauma will last a lifetime. Thanks to everyone who has reached out to me and my family, the support is greatly appreciated. As well a big thank you to all the emergency services that were involved dealing with this horrible accident #prayforhumboldt
Bretton Cameron, Greyson’s brother, shared a photo of him recovering in hospital.
“He can’t thank everyone enough for all the support so far,” Cameron wrote.
Words can’t describe how fortunate I am for the hockey world. Everyone that has reached out and also helped me get to my brother so quickly. The love has poured in to Graysen and my family. He can’t thank everyone enough for all the support so far #prayforhumboldt pic.twitter.com/ypKqnOQQyg— Bretton Cameron (@Bcamo) April 9, 2018
With files from CTV Regina, CTV Saskatoon and CTV Regina