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

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Tax increase comes from unnecessary expenditures

Does city council think the tax payers have a limitless supply of money, asks letter writer

Local astronomer to share knowledge about planetary nebulae

Local astronomer explains our sun will one day eject its outer layers to form a planetary nebula

School district considers new position, drug concerns raised

Assistant superintendent confirms spike in use of a Xanax-like drug in schools earlier this year

Nanaimo’s elementary schools graded by Fraser Institute

Annual Report Card on British Columbia’s Elementary Schools released Saturday, April 21

UPDATED: Nanaimo man dies after highway crash in Nanoose Bay Friday afternoon

Accident happened just before 4 p.m. near Hillview Road.

MULTIMEDIA: Goats were special guests at Nanaimo Earth Day celebration

Community event was held Saturday, April 21, at John Barsby Secondary School

B.C. student makes short-list for autism advocacy award

Brody Butts honoured for his role as a mentor and self-advocate

Nanaimo region receives $700,000 in federal support for summer jobs

Funding for Nanaimo-Ladysmith up $74,000 from last year

Students celebrate new indigenous garden

Garden teaches students about traditional uses of local plants

RCMP investigate sexual assault in Courtenay

Comox Valley RCMP officers are investigating a reported sexual assault April 11

RCMP discover beaver the culprit in break-and-enter attempt

Nanaimo RCMP responded to a 911 call on Sun Valley Drive on Wednesday night

Austin Powers ‘Mini-Me’, Verne Troyer, dies at 49

Facebook page confirmed his death Saturday afternoon

B.C. parents grieving teen’s overdose death say it started with opioid prescription

Elliot Eurchuk, 16, died at his Oak Bay home Friday, after taking street drugs

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

Most Read