Saskatoon

Photos mark 1st in-person reunion of all 13 survivors of 2018 Humboldt Broncos bus crash

Survivor Kaleb Dahlgren's description of the photo on social media was short but resonant: #Bel13ve 💚💛

Pictures shared on social media met with outpouring of support

Kaleb Dahlgren posted this photo of himself and the 12 other survivors of the 2018 Humboldt Broncos bus crash, along with two other people, on social media on Sunday. The photo marked the first time all 13 survivors of the crash have gotten together in person since the collision. (Kaleb Dahlgren/Facebook)

It's been three years and three months since a bus carrying the Humboldt Broncos junior hockey team collided with a semi truck that had blown through a stop sign in Saskatchewan.

The April 6, 2018, crash killed 16 bus occupants and injured 13 others. 

Now, for the first time since that tragic event, all 13 team members who survived the crash, many of them with serious injuries, have reunited in person. 

On Sunday evening, Kaleb Dahlgren posted two photos of all 13 survivors, plus two other people, smiling and wrapping their arms around each other while assembled in two rows in a yard over the weekend. 

The second of two photos Dahlgren shared on social media. (Kaleb Dahlgren/Facebook)

Dahlgren suffered a fractured skull, a puncture wound in his head, a brain injury and six broken vertebrae in his neck and back as a result of the crash, and went on to write a book about his experience.

His description on the photo post marking the team's full reunion was short but resonant: he spelled the word "Believe" with the number 13 and added two hearts — one yellow, one green — representing the Humboldt Broncos' team colours. 

#Bel13ve 💚💛

Some of the crash survivors have assembled before. Two months after the incident, in June 2018, 10 injured team members travelled together to Las Vegas for the 2018 NHL Awards.

Three months after that, in Sept. 2018, eight survivors took to the ice to a cheering, standing-room only crowd during a ceremony before the Broncos' first post-crash home game in Humboldt's Elgar Petersen Arena. 

Eight crash survivors took part in a September 2018 ceremony before the Broncos' first home game after the crash. (Guy Quenneville/CBC)

All 13 survivors were on a ZOOM call together in the summer of 2020, early into the COVID-19 pandemic. 

But this past weekend marked the first time they all got to see each other in person.

Dahlgren's post has already been shared more than 500 times on Facebook and led to a flood of comments offering warm messages of support.

"Pure awesomeness!!!" one commenter wrote. "The world is proud!"

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Guy Quenneville

Reporter at CBC Saskatoon

Story tips? guy.quenneville@cbc.ca

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