Humboldt Broncos bus crash remembered across Saskatchewan, Canada on 4th anniversary of tragedy

It was a sombre day in Humboldt. The community marked the 4th anniversary of the Broncos bus tragedy by opening the arena for people to come and go, and take in some online and video tributes. For those who went, it was an emotional moment. Montana Getty has more.

A tragic anniversary was remembered across the province and country on Wednesday, as it’s been four years since the Humboldt Broncos bus tragedy took place.

Sixteen people were killed, and another 13 injured when the bus carrying the team was struck by a semi-truck that went through a stop sign at the intersection of Highway 35 and 335 in April of 2018.

The City of Humboldt held a hybrid tribute, with videos and online content to honour the team and everyone affected by the tragedy.

This is the first time since the first anniversary of the tragedy that an in-person event is being held to remember what happened that day.

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Humboldt Mayor Michael Behiel said that after consultations were made with the families, they requested a low-key approach to the day.

Family members, friends and the general public were invited to Elgar Peterson Arena between 4:30 p.m. and 5:15 p.m. to pay their respects.

Behiel has declared April 6, as 2017-2018 Humboldt Broncos day in the city, and asked everyone to observe a moment of silence at 4:50 p.m., the approximate time of the accident.

“One way we can describe it is it guarantees the perpetual remembrance of the tragedy and not only that, reflects upon the massive outpouring of support and love that we received, not just from the community or province, but right around the world,” Behiel said.

Humboldt resident Lynn Brecht was at the rink on Wednesday donning her Broncos gear.

“This is my heart. This is my home. We’ve lost our boys and we need to honour them,” Brecht said.

“Being here, wearing my jersey all day, thinking about them, knowing what their families are going through – tragedy – it’s a big loss.”

Members of the House of Commons paid tribute to the victims during a moment of silence on Wednesday.

Saskatchewan finance minister and Humboldt MLA also paid tribute to the victims, survivors and their families during legislative assembly on Wednesday.

“Looking back, I would like to express my appreciation to the people in the communities of this province that pulled together to stand with my community at the time of their loss,” Harpauer said.

“Most of us know where we were when we first heard of the Humboldt Broncos bus crash, Mr. Speaker, but few know what it was like to have a child or a loved one on that bus.”

Humboldt director of community and leisure services, Michael Ulriksen, said for some the anniversary is a hard day to get through.

“(For) others, it’s a day to remember the coming together of the community and how we’ve been able to get through to this point and taken small steps forward in our grieving process,” Ulriksen said.

“It’s definitely a sombre day in a lot of ways but an opportunity just to think back and appreciate what’s happened over the last four years and to remember those who meant so much to us and are no longer here with us or were impacted by the crash,” Ulriksen added.

Behiel has declared April 6, as 2017-2018 Humboldt Broncos day in the city, and is asking everyone to observe a moment of silence at 4:50 p.m., the approximate time of the accident.

“One way we can describe it is it guarantees the perpetual remembrance of the tragedy and not only that, reflects upon the massive outpouring of support and love that we received, not just from the community or province, but right around the world,” Behiel said.

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Late Humboldt Broncos player’s parents advocate for organ donation on Green Shirt Day

The following day, April 7, has been declared Green Shirt Day in Humboldt by Behiel. The day commemorates the contributions Logan Boulet and his family have made around recognizing and fundraising for organ and tissue donation.

Broncos player Logan Boulet died as a result of the crash, but the 21-year-old had previously told his family that he wanted to be an organ donor.

His heart, liver, lungs, kidneys and corneas saved or improved the lives of six people across Canada.

“We have to a marvel to that because it has affected the most massive amount of people joining the organ donation program in the history of Canada,” Behiel stated.

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Boulet family promotes Green Shirt Day in Taber

“It caused the at-home, around-the-table discussion of, ‘What can we do once something happens to further the lives of others,’ and that is truly reflective of the outpouring of love and support we received during that time,” he added.

It is estimated that almost 150,000 Canadians registered as organ donors in the weeks following the Humboldt crash, and Green Shirt Day 2019 inspired another 100,000 or more to take action.

Canadians are encouraged to use the hashtags #GreenShirtDay #LoganBouletEffect and #TogetherStrong in their posts to expand the reach of the initiative.

Find out about how you can participate at greenshirtday.ca/be-inspired.

— with files from Global News’ Rick Zamperin

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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