(Humboldt Broncos Twitter)

Giants hockey chaplain helps community grieve after Humboldt Broncos bus crash

Danny Stebeck ‘can’t imagine’ if the call had come that his 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 Humboltd 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.

“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.”

READ: Port Alberni shows support for Humboldt

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.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was scheduled to attend the Humboldt vigil.


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Ridge RCMP looking for man who may have offered 12-year-old girl a ride home

Incident occurred March 11 near Golden Ears elementary.

UPDATED: Police investigating body found in Maple Ridge park

Woman’s body discovered early Friday near Lougheed Highway

Letter: Guard-to-inmate ratio ‘big problem’

‘Corrections helps offenders in custody and the community learn better ways’

Maple Ridge cannabis plant plans on growing

Tantalus Labs plans on doubling its workforce in a year

Ridge player earns Pat Quinn scholarship

Adam Leitch plays for the Burnaby Winter Club academy prep team.

Residents adjacent to Maple Ridge golf course want a stop to errant golf balls

Golf Lane residents say too many golf balls stray into their yards causing thousands in damage and posing a danger

In a fight against cancer, Victoria man’s only stem cell match was his own donation

More mixed race and Asian stem cell donors needed, says Victoria family

MPs denounce leaked reports of Trudeau-JWR clash over Supreme Court pick

Opposition MPs called the leaks an act of desperation meant to smear Wilson-Raybould

Study says B.C.’s housing policies mean drug users can be targeted for eviction

The study involves 50 people living in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside

VIDEO: Homicide team called in after three killed in Surrey car crash

Investigators ask public to come forward with information, dashcam video

Stranger climbs onto B.C. family’s second-floor balcony, lights fire in barbecue

Incident in Abbotsford terrifies family with two-year-old boy

Coroner’s inquest announced for Victoria teen’s overdose death

Elliot Eurchuk was 16 years old when he died of an opioid overdose at his Oak Bay home

UPDATED: Sailings resume after BC Ferries boat hits Langdale terminal

The Queen of Surrey is stuck on the dock, causing delays to Horseshoe Bay trips

Eviction halted for B.C. woman deemed ‘too young’ for seniors’ home

Zoe Nagler, 46, had been given notice after living in the seniors complex in Comox for six years

Most Read