Father's heartbreaking photo: Son and teammates link arms in hospital after deadly bus crash


The sports world was in prayer and mourning Saturday following a horrific crash in which a truck collided with a bus carrying a junior hockey team to a playoff game in western Canada.

Fourteen people were killed and 14 others were injured in the accident around 5 p.m. Friday on Highway 35 in Saskatchewan.

The bus was carrying players and coaches for the Humboldt Broncos, who play in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League, to their playoff game against the Nipawin Hawks.

“We can now confirm fourteen people have died as a result of this collision,” the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said in a release early Saturday. “The other fourteen people were sent to hospitals with a variety of injuries; three of these people have injuries that are critical in nature.”

Among the injured were Derek Patter, 19, Graysen Cameron, 18, and Nick Shumlanski, 20.

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The three young men, all forwards for Humboldt, were recovering in the same hospital room Saturday morning.

Patter’s father, R.J., captured a photo of the trio as they joined hands, and he shared it on Twitter.

“Derek Grayson and Nick bonding and healing in hospital,” he wrote.

Within hours, the powerful image was retweeted over 5,000 times, with hundreds of people around the world offering their prayers and support.

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The photo was also shared on Facebook and drew a strong response there as well, with thousands of likes and hundreds of comments.

“A picture is worth a thousand words; brothers is not only through genetics,” wrote Sharon Dechka. “From a mom who has had many bus miles, all of Canada prays for your recovery.”

Said Bryan Shepherd: “So many words spoken from this photo. Brothers. in unity, hand in hand, while they recover, not worried about themselves, but about the man beside them. This is family. Hockey players are the strongest breed, they will need every ounce of this to get through the days/weeks/years ahead. May they find strength and guidance in each other to walk forward together, and to carry on the legacy of the brothers and mentors they lost.”

“Thinking of everyone involved in this terrible terrible accident,” wrote Jennifer Medwechuk. “I can’t even imagine what you are feeling but a team that sticks together will fight together and this picture shows just that.”

“Wow very strong touching photo ! Praying for your healing young men!!!!! And Sympathy for those who were lost in this tragic accident. everyone and all they families that have been affected. Young men stay strong!!!” said Heather Greenbarg-Goldstein.

We join everyone who’s praying for the Humboldt Broncos and their loved ones.

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Todd Windsor is a senior story editor at The Western Journal. He has worked as an editor or reporter in news and sports for more than 30 years.
Todd Windsor is a senior story editor at The Western Journal. He was born in Baltimore and grew up in Maryland. He graduated from the University of Miami (he dreams of wearing the turnover chain) and has worked as an editor and reporter in news and sports for more than 30 years. Todd started at The Miami News (defunct) and went on to work at The News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C., the St. Petersburg (now Tampa Bay) Times, The Baltimore Sun and Space News before joining Liftable Media in 2016. He and his beautiful wife have two amazing daughters and a very old Beagle.
Bachelor of Science from the University of Miami
Phoenix, Arizona
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