What we know about the Humboldt Broncos crash victims from Alberta
Promising hockey players from small towns, young men with limitless futures, and a beloved coach
NOTE: This story will be updated as we learn more about the victims of the crash.
Fifteen people were killed and 14 injured when a bus filled with staff and players of the Humboldt Broncos junior hockey team collided with a transport truck near Tisdale, Sask. on Friday.
The horrific crash has shocked the entire country. Many of the victims were Albertans — promising hockey players from small towns, young men with limitless futures, and a beloved coach.
Derek Patter, 19
Patter is from Edmonton and was injured in the collision.
His father posted a widely shared photo of Derek holding hands with injured teammates Greysen Cameron and Nick Shumlanski in hospital shortly after the collision. Shumlanski has since been released from hospital.
On Sunday, Patter's father tweeted a message to Toronto Blue Jays player Marcus Stroman.
"I'm a parent of one of the injured players," the tweet said. "My son will survive and continue with his life but 15 of his team brothers will not. Thank you for taking the time to support our boys."
Graysen Cameron, 18
Cameron is from Olds and was injured in the collision.
He was seen holding hands in hospital with injured teammates Derek Patter and Nick Schumlanski in a widely shared photo on Twitter. His current condition is not known.
Ryan Straschnitzki, 18
Straschnitzki is from Airdrie. His father, Tom, said his son suffered a broken back in the collision and couldn't feel anything from his waist down. He was scheduled to undergo surgery Saturday at a hospital in Saskatoon.
Straschnitzki said his son remembers little about the crash.
"He remembers he was in the middle of the bus and then he remembers waking up when the paramedics took him off the bus ... and he said, 'I thought the semi t-boned right in the middle,' but he said, 'No, it was in the front of the bus.'"
Tyler Smith, 19
Smith is from Leduc. He was seriously injured in the collision.
His great-aunt, Shirley Dool, describes him as a great kid with a good sense of humour. She says he is on the road to recovery, but still had bleeding in a lung that was punctured in the crash. She said he is also having trouble moving his hands.
Hockey is a big part of his life and he was close with all his teammates, she said.
"It's going to be really hard to recover, not only from the physical but the mental issues that he's going to have to face losing all his friends," Dool said.
"It's just so tragic."
Smith's parents and brother have gone to Saskatchewan, Dool said.
In a Facebook post Saturday night, Smith's father Curtis said his son's prognosis is good. As a father, he said his heart is broken.
"My tears are not only for Tyler but for the other parents and wives, husbands and children," Smith said.
"My family will be forever changed."
Parker Tobin, 18
Parker Tobin, an 18-year-old goalie from Stony Plain, Alta was fatally injured in the collision.
His mother Rhonda Clarke Tobin posted on Twitter the night of the crash saying her son was being airlifted to a hospital in Saskatoon.
Tobin, was previously "misidentified" and believed to have survived, the Saskatchewan Justice Ministry said Monday.
One of the players initially announced as dead was identified as Xavier Labelle. In fact, Labelle survived the crash.
A ministry spokesperson said the Office of the Chief Coroner apologized for the misidentification.
On Monday, the Saskatchewan Coroner's office released a statement confirming Tobin's death, and extended their deepest sympathies "to the families and friends of those who lost their lives."
Saskatchewan Department of Justice spokesperson Drew Wilby said in a news conference Monday that many of the players looked alike. They were similar ages and body types, and many had their hair bleached blonde in anticipation of their playoff run. The significant "trauma" caused by crash also contributed to the confusion, Wilby said.
"I don't think anything you could ever say would be enough," Wilby said of the government's apology to families involved.
Wilby said the misidentification was "unprecedented in Saskatchewan's history."
Tobin was in his first season with the Broncos. He had started the year with the Spruce Grove Saints of the Alberta Junior Hockey League.
"The loss is devastating, and our team is in shock as we come to terms with this tragic accident," Rob Sklaruk, general manager of the Spruce Grove Saints, said in a statement on Saturday.
"We want to thank the first responders and medical teams involved in this tragedy. Hockey is a tight-knit community and this has affected everyone deeply."
Tobin spent his final year of midget eligibility playing for the Drayton Valley Thunder of the AJHL and also played a season with the Leduc Oil Kings of the Alberta Midget AAA Hockey League.
Conner Lukan, 20
Lukan was from Slave Lake, Alta. He was a forward for the Broncos and joined the team this season, after playing with the Grove Saints in the Alberta Junior Hockey League. Lukan died in the collision.
Darryl and Vicky Hodgson are a billet family in Spruce Grove. They knew Lukan because he was a friend of another Spruce Grove Saints hockey player that they welcomed into their home last year.
"Him and Conner hit it off pretty good. Conner spent a lot of time here, lunches, suppers, after games, watching hockey games, watching golf, playing video games, hanging out with the kids," said Darryl Hodgson.
Hodgson said he was crushed to hear Lukan died in the crash. He said Lukan would go out of his way to spend time with his kids, playing card games with them and watch them do magic tricks.
"You don't have to do that," Hodgson said. "That's just over and above, and shows the type of character that he had, that he's always thinking of others."
Vicky Hodgson said billet families treat these players as members of their own family. They celebrate birthdays and holidays together, as if they are their own children.
"I kind of feel like they are chosen sons that come into your house. They become your family," she said.
She described Lukan as a respectful young man.
"Somebody like Conner, his character shone through over and over," she said.
Jaxon Joseph, 20
Born in Edmonton, Joseph was a forward for the Broncos and one of the leading scorers in the SJHL playoffs. He previously played for the Surrey Eagles of the British Columbia Hockey League. He did not survive the collision.
Joseph's former coach in B.C., Blaine Neufeld, said: "Something particular about Jaxon was that he had a particular smile. He lit up the room."
Logan Hunter, 18
Hunter is from St. Albert and played for the Raiders in his hometown before coming to Humboldt. He had finished Grade 12 and was in the process of upgrading. He had also taken his SATs in the past year. Hunter died in the collision.
Rene Cannon billeted Hunter.
"He had this smirk about him most of the time that might have made you think he was a little bit cocky but he was truly this kind soul, that lay down on the floor and spent time with our puppies," she said.
She added that Hunter had an ever-ready willingness to play games or mini-stick matches with her children.
Stephen Wack, 21
Wack was a defenceman and played two seasons with the Broncos.
Alicia Wack, cousin of Stephen Wack, told The Canadian Press the 21-year-old did not survive the collision.
Wack was an up-and-coming videographer. His younger brother, Justin Wack, said Stephen spent dozens of hours on each video he'd make.
Justin thanked the hockey community for its support.
"Stephen was the best big brother I could ever ask for. He was always the most selfless, modest, and humble person imaginable," he said in a tweet.
Edmonton hockey father Chris Scheetz told CBC News his son played with Wack in Leduc when they were 15 years old.
He said the six-foot-five Wack was a "gentle giant" among the boys and on the ice, as well as a talented defenceman.
Scheetz said Wack had a special relationship with his brother, who was blind.
"Justin would come to every game and he'd watch his brother, but only through his ears and the description his dad would give him as the play was going on," Scheetz said.
"Justin was so proud of his brother's accomplishments ... I never saw a bond quite like I did between those two brothers. You could just tell they were absolute best friends."
After the game, Scheetz said the brothers would leave the rink hand in hand.
Logan Boulet, 21
Boulet, from Lethbridge, was confirmed Sunday afternoon to be among those killed in the collision.
A family friend speaking on behalf of Boulet's family confirmed to CBC News that the 21-year-old defenceman was expected to be taken off life support and his organs would be harvested, saving at least six other lives.
Boulet was described as a "caring, humble and genuine man who would do anything for anyone before himself."
His cousin, Julie Kindt, said on Facebook that he was on life support after the crash until his organs could be donated.
"Logan had made it known, and very clear to his family, that he had signed his organ donor card when he turned 21 just a few weeks ago," Boulet's godfather, Neil Langevin, posted in a statement on behalf of the family.
"Logan's strong heart continues to beat," he said. "All counted, six people will receive the gift of life from Logan ... His other organs will be donated to science as he requested.
"These actions alone give voice to the selfless and benevolent nature Logan possessed in life."
Darcy Haugan, 42
Haugan was the head coach of the Humboldt Broncos and the first person confirmed dead in the collision. Friends and former players are remembering him for instilling character and integrity in his team — both on and off the ice.
"He was the coach everybody wanted. Darcy never gave up on anybody. He was always there for every one of his players, always fought for every one of his players, always had their backs. Just a guy you loved playing for. You wanted to win for him," said Bud Dyck, who was coached by Haugan with the North Peace Navigators in Peace River from 2009 to 2014.
Mike Fosty was an assistant coach with the team and worked with Haugan for 10 years.
He said it was a dream come true for Haugan when he took a coaching job with the Broncos in 2015.
"He'll be in my heart every time I go to that arena or step behind the bench to coach," Fosty said. "He'll always be there. I know he'll be there looking down, looking after us."