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.

Just Posted

33 Oliver-area homes evacuated

Flooding concerns result in evacuations

South Okanagan community taking action on fire prevention

Community working to prevent a repeat of last summer’s wildfire

In today’s Okanagan flood water, a reflection of 67-year-old history

In 1951, floods north of Oliver led to the government blowing out the highway to relieve pressure

Role of bylaw is ever-changing

Bylaw department faces variety of challenges

Grants for seniors housing project in Okanagan Falls

The move means other organizations who regularly get the grants may be left scrambling

Lt.-Gov. Guichon believes she made the right decision in last B.C. election

Outgoing Lt.-Gov Judith Guichon said her most memorable moments weren’t surrounding the election

VIDEO: 33 Oliver-area homes evacuated due to flooding

Flooding in the Sportsman Bowl area has swelled drastically over course of one week

Farmers’ Market back in business for another season

The annual Penticton Farmers’ Market was back on the street again Saturday.

16 of 20 fastest improving B.C. schools are public: Fraser Institute

Independent elementary schools remain at top of the chart in think tank’s annual report card

NAFTA: Talks continue through weekend in scramble to get a deal

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland called negotiations ‘perpetual’

Pulp mill fined $900,000 for leaking effluent into B.C. lake

Mackenzie Pulp Mill pleaded guilty to depositing deleterious substance into water frequented by fish

B.C.’s 2-year lobbying ban starts May 1

Office of the Registrar of Lobbyists can grant exemptions from the prohibition if public interest

Horgan speaks of government’s successes to ‘friends’ at CUPE BC convention

CUPE BC president Paul Faoro said was first time a B.C. premier addressed convention in some time

Most Read