B.C. hockey chaplain helps community grieve after Humboldt Broncos’ bus crash

Danny Stebeck ‘can’t imagine’ if the call had come that Vancouver Giants players were hurt

The chaplain of the Vancouver Giants opened up his church on Sunday night in hopes of helping his community come to terms with the crash that claimed 15 lives in Saskatchewan.

Police say that 15 people have died and 14 were injured after a tractor-trailer collided with the Humboldt Broncos bus on Highway 35. The team had been on its way to Game 5 of a semi-final playoff series against the Nipawin Hawks Friday evening.

“I identify very closely with what they’re going through and I can’t imagine if that’d been a call about our bus, how devastating that would be,” said Lighthouse Church pastor Danny Stebeck.

“I’m really feeling their pain.”

On Sunday morning, the death toll stood at 15, including head coach Darcy Haugan, former Surrey Eagle Jaxon Joseph, bus driver Glen Doerksen, sports reporter Tyler Bieber, and 11 players. Adam Herold, 16, was the youngest victim. 

Of the 14 in hospital, only 20-year-old Nick Shumlanski has been released so far.

READ: B.C. hockey moms’ jersey campaign supports Humboldt Broncos

Although Humboldt is two provinces away, Stebeck said that the far-flung nature of hockey means that everyone in the community is affected.

“The hockey community is so close, there’s people all over the Metro Vancouver area that are feeling it,” said Stebeck.

“I just wanted to show support and provide a space for people to grieve.”

The pain is especially poignant in Ladner, which hosts the practice arena for the Vancouver Giants.

Although their season has ended and the players are back home with their families, Stebeck said the community is in mourning – as are the players.

READ: Port Alberni shows support for Humboldt

“I’ve reached out to especially those [players] in Saskatchewan,” he said.

“One of the kids had a friend who lost his life in this bus crash, other are connected in various ways and they’re really feeling it.”

As a pastor, Stebeck is sadly familiar with tragedy.

“For people going through the deep hurt right now, the first step is just to acknowledge it, and allow it,” he said.

“We too often push it out of the way and try to carry on and pretend that we’re okay.”

A GoFundMe for the team had reached nearly $4.5 million as of Sunday morning.

The Ladner vigil took place at 6 p.m. at the Lighthouse Church and coincided with one being held at the Elgar Petersen Arena in Humboldt.


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Successful Canadian Sport School coming to Penticton

A meeting is planned for February about Canadian Sport School - Penticton

Peachfest announces 2020 headliners

Glass Tiger and Honeymoon Suite back featuring large in the list of headliners.

U.S. lawyer charged with allegedly smuggling restricted firearms across Osoyoos border

Shawn Jensen allegedly smuggled AR-15, Ruger .22 over U.S./Canada border, with no licence.

Okanagan among Canada’s most at-risk habitats: WWF report

Report found the Okanagan is inadequately protected despite being a hotspot for at-risk species

Penticton council supports “dire need” for youth rehab centre

Bridge Recovery Services seek support for youth dealing with lack of treatment facilities.

UBCO students raise funds for those affected by Philippine volcano eruption

All proceeds will be donated to the Philippine Red Cross

B.C. RCMP spent roughly $750K on massive manhunt for Port Alberni men

Manitoba RCMP helped with 17-day search through the province’s northern terrain

Future space homes could be made of mushrooms

NASA explores use of fungi to build structures in space

Empty speedboat sinks off Kelowna shore on Okanagan Lake

This is the third report of a boat found in the lake in the past two weeks

COLUMN: Pre-clearance changes at Canadian airports

Some believe these expanded powers may be contrary to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms

Man killed by police in Lytton called 911, asking to be shot: RCMP

Howard Schantz, also known as Barry Schantz was killed following a standoff at his Lytton home

UPDATE: Revelstoke City Council gives themselves a raise, councillor resigns in protest

The mayor’s pay is set to go from $30,000 to $60,000 over three years

Most Read