Saskatchewan Junior Hockey finals to go ahead after Humboldt Broncos crash

The Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League board has voted unanimously to resume the league's playoffs eight days after the April 6 crash that left 16 dead.

Estevan will play Nipawin beginning Saturday after league votes unanimously to resume playoffs

A cross made out of hockey sticks has been placed at the crash scene for the Humboldt Broncos. (Olivia Stefanovich/CBC)

The Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League board has voted unanimously to resume the league's playoffs eight days after a devastating crash killed 16 people on a bus carrying the Humboldt Broncos.

The SJHL made the announcement Wednesday on social media, saying the championship series between the Estevan Bruins and the Nipawin Hawks will start Saturday in Nipawin.

Broncos president Kevin Garinger wanted the playoffs to continue, saying playing hockey is part of the healing process.

The Broncos were heading north to play Game 5 of a playoff series against the Hawks on April 6 when the team bus was involved in a crash with a semi-trailer, killing 16 people and injuring another 13. 

"Out of total respect for Humboldt we are not going to play Friday," Nipawin Hawks president Darren Opps said.

RCMP investigation ongoing 

The cause of the collision is still under investigation by RCMP.

Rob King with the RCMP said it could take weeks or months for the investigation to be complete.

"The number of people involved in this one is one of the things that makes it so complex and it'll take a lot of time to get the bottom of it and to be reassured that it's a thorough and complete investigation."

King said dozens of interviews have been conducted and data from vehicle computers is being analyzed.

Multiple RCMP detachments are working with Transport Canada, SGI, and the provincial coroners office to conduct the investigation. The investigation is being handled by the RCMP's Major Crimes Unit.