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.
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 pic.twitter.com/DzesIoT27B
— Roy Patter (@rjpatter) April 7, 2018
“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.
prayers Boys !! You are strong together you will heal with so many prayers !! The whole world is praying for you all !!
— tasha hill (@tashahi38088016) April 7, 2018
From Lincoln, Nebraska – Our USHL hockey family is praying for all the Broncos’ players and their families, coaches, and fans. We are all one close-knit hockey family. ? ? ♥️ Tears from this Hockey Mom and Billet Mom in ??
— Renae Walvoord (@RenaeWalvoord24) April 7, 2018
dont know what to say to you – words cannot match – we think unto you from Germany?
— Dr.Annamaria.Grabow (@StopIllatosut) April 7, 2018
Thoughts and prayers from Texas our kids travel many miles on a bus to play hockey. ??
— Jake (@JEM19RAM) April 7, 2018
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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