UPDATE | 15 die when truck collides with hockey team's bus in Canada


NIPAWIN, Saskatchewan (AP) — A semi-trailer slammed into a bus carrying a youth hockey team in western Canada, killing 15 people and injuring 14 in a catastrophic collision that a doctor compared to an airstrike and left the vehicles obliterated in the snow.

The crash sent shockwaves through the team's small hometown and a country united by the national sport.

Canadians were moved to tears today 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.

"An entire country is in shock and mourning," Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said. "This is every parent's worst nightmare. No one should ever have to see their child leave to play the sport they love and never come back."

The bus had 29 passengers, including the driver, when it crashed about 5 p.m. on Highway 35, police said. Among the dead are Broncos head coach Darcy Haugan, team captain Logan Schatz and radio announcer Tyler Bieber. Authorities earlier said three were in critical but later provided an update to say that 15 have now died.

Canadian police said the truck driver was initially detained but has since been released and provided with mental health assistance. Royal Canadian Mounted Police Assistant Commissioner Curtis Zablocki said it's too early to state a cause for the crash.

In a tweet, U.S. President Donald Trump said he called Trudeau to offer his condolences to the families of victims.

Darren Opp, president of the Nipawin Hawks, who the Broncos were set to play against, said a semi T-boned the players' bus — an account police confirmed.

"It's a horrible accident, my God," Opp said.

3.23 p.m.

NIPAWIN, Saskatchewan (AP) — Fourteen people were killed and 15 others injured when a truck collided with a bus carrying a junior hockey team to a playoff game in western Canada, authorities said today.

The bus driving the Humboldt Broncos had 29 passengers, including the driver, when it crashed at about 5 p.m. Friday on Highway 35 in Saskatchewan, Canadian police said.

The head coach, Darcy Haugan, and the team captain, Logan Schatz, are among the 14 dead, relatives said.

Three people are in critical condition.

"An entire country is in shock and mourning," Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in a statement. "Our national hockey family is a close one, with roots in almost every town - small and big - across Canada. Humboldt is no exception, and today the country and the entire hockey community stands with you."

In a tweet, U.S. President Donald Trump said he called Trudeau to offer his condolences to the families of victims.

Kelly Schatz, Logan's father, says his 20-year-old son played for the Broncos for just over four years and had served as team captain for the past 2 ½ years.

Meanwhile, tributes poured in online for Darcy Haugan, a father of two who was described as an amazing mentor to young players. The names of others killed have not been confirmed.

Darren Opp, president of the Nipawin Hawks, who the Broncos were set to play against, said a semi T-boned the players' bus — an account police confirmed.

"It's a horrible accident, my God," Opp said.

STARS air ambulance said it sent three helicopters to the scene.

The tragedy brought to mind an accident in 1986, when the Swift Current Broncos team bus slid off an icy highway and crashed in late December, killing four players.

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