Canadians were moved to tears on Saturday as they learned of the identities of the deceased on the bus that was driving the Humboldt Broncos hockey team to a crucial playoff game Friday against the Nipawin Hawks. Among the dead were the team's coach and captain. Royal Canadian Mounted Police told CNN that three of those injured were in critical condition.
"They become part of the family", said Mr Eaton. Haugan's wife, Christina, confirmed his death to reporters. Meanwhile, tributes poured in online for Darcy Haugan, a father of two who was described as an unbelievable mentor to young players.
Darren Opp, president of the Hawks, said a semi T-boned the players' bus.
Air ambulances were dispatched to the scene to transport the injured to hospital.
"We have to have conversations with the Humboldt organization". Every Swift Current minor hockey team, we would wear the clover with the four numbers on it. "So everybody knows everybody and you try and look out for each other and take care of each other". The junior league team is based in Humboldt, a small city about 120 miles south of Nipawin with a population of almost 6,000 people.
"Hockey was what brought us all together and we had two communities that were rivals in the rink. To find out that it was their first responders that aided our boys just warms your heart".
"Everybody is just so devastated".
"It's something you remember when you're that young", he said. The players, ranging in age from 16 to 21, come from different parts of Canada and stay with host families during the season, according to the team's website.
Broncos team president Kevin Garinger said parents from across western Canada were struggling to cope with the tragedy and were rushing to the scene.
"There have been multiple fatalities - our whole community is in shock", said the Broncos' president, Kevin Garinger.
Michelle Straschnitzki told the Associated Press her 18-year-old son Ryan was among the Broncos players taken to a hospital in Saskatoon. "The news I have heard is hard to comprehend", Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe said in a statement posted to Twitter on Friday night. "Some of them are waiting to hear if their kids are alive".
"One day they're doing their job as a business owner in town, but at night they're out trying to save lives", he said. "We know that the coroner and their office needs to do their work and let families know".
Chow said the money collected is meant to help families who lost loved ones, but also other players within the league who are grieving and may need to access counselling services.
"We don't know who has passed and we don't expect to know right away", he added.
"This tragedy has hit a number of people - not just us but I think everybody can relate to this experience", Muench said.