West Kelowna coach and GM Rylan Ferster expects Saskatchewan hockey community to pull together in time of grief -Image: Douglas Farrow

Warriors head coach shocked, saddened by tragic bus crash

Rylan Ferster was born in Saskatchewan and played one season with the Humboldt Broncos

The tragic bus crash Friday in Saskatchewan involving the Humboldt Broncos’ hockey club hit far too close to home for Rylan Ferster.

The head coach and GM of the BCHL’s West Kelowna Warriors was not only born and raised in the prairie province, he played with the Broncos as a 16-year-old rookie during the 1985-86 season.

Ferster also played three years with the Nipawin Hawks, the team the Broncos were travelling to play in an SJHL playoff game when their bus collided with a truck, killing 15 of the 29 people on board.

“I’ve been on that road many times, I know exactly where it happened,” said Ferster, who was born in nearby Prince Albert, Sask. “It’s been tough. I can’t imagine what it’s like for people back home. I know how I feel two provinces away and it’s just devestating.

“I’ve talked to a lot of people back home and they’re reeling, some of them can’t even talk about it,” Ferster said Sunday. “It’s horrific on so many levels.”

Related: VIDEO: Athletes, teams honour victims of Humboldt Broncos deadly bus crash

Related: Kelowna supports Humboldt Broncos in time of tragedy

Ferster still travels thousands of kilometres every season on a team bus as a head coach in the BCHL. Ferster said for anyone who has ever been associated with a junior hockey team, the shocking reality is difficult to comprehend.

“It’s almost like the bus is supposed to be a safe haven, you feel safe when you get on, kind of like an extension of the dressing room,” Ferster said. “It’s a place where bonds form between people and teammates, where memories are made…junior hockey should be the best times of their lives.

“To have this happen is beyond belief.”

Still, in the face of the tragedy, Ferster fully expects the people of Saskatchewan and the hockey community at large to pull together and support to those in their time of need.

“There are so many people connected to junior hockey, something like this really brings people together,” said Ferster. “To lose 15 people who were all so tight, for them to pass away at once is beyond words.

“I grew up in Saskatchewan and I know how wonderful and supportive the people are,” he added. “They’ll pick everyone up and get each other through this.”

To report a typo, email: edit@kelownacapnews.com.


@KelownaCapNews
newstips@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Penticton rushing to prepare creeks

Local creeks maintained in advance of freshet flows

Two Okanagan cities listed in Top 20 “rattiest” list

Rats. The Okanagan has them and they’re really a problem in two cities, according to this list.

Penticton woman had 6-years of SPCA complaints: documents

Joelle Mbamy is set to go to trial on animal cruelty charges on Thursday in provincial court

South Okanagan and Similkameen kids get to fly free

The annual COPA for Kids program offers free flights for kids in Princeton and Penticton

B.C. Lions talk to Penticton kids about life choices

Three B.C. Lions were in Penticton Tuesday to talk to young people about life choices

Toronto van attack suspect faces 10 counts of first-degree murder

The suspect in the Toronto van attack that killed 10 people and injured 15 others on Monday is a 25-year-old man named Alek Minassian

Issues split Trump and Macron, handshakes and kisses aside

Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron professed a sunny, best-friends relationship

How hospitals prepare for mass-casualty incidents

Code Orange alerts explained following the Toronto van attack

Jury to deliberate after Cosby painted as predator

A jury of seven men and five women are to decide actor Bill Cosby’s fate

Memorial to victims of Toronto van attack continues to grow

The subway station where a van was used to run down pedestrians has reopened in Toronto

Small aircraft touches down on Calgary street

The twin-engine plane was apparently short on fuel forcing an emergency landing

Okanagan College students show skill

Trio clean up at provincial Skills Canada competition

B.C.’s living wage increase curbed due to MSP cuts, child care subsidy: report

Living wage varies between $16.51 in north central B.C. to $20.91 in Metro Vancouver

Most Read