Sadly, the casualties have continued to climb in the days following the tragedy.
As the death toll from the April 6 Humboldt junior hockey bus crash continues to rise, and with the passing of team trainer Dayna Brons marking the 16th fatality, the victims’ families have been met with an outpouring of support from a local parent’s viral GoFundMe campaign.
The bus, carrying 28 players and staff members at the time, collided with a semi truck in Saskatchewan, initially leaving 14 dead, with two more passing in the subsequent days.
The crowdsourcing campaign created by Humboldt hockey parent Sylvie Kellington to “raise money for the players and families affected,” went live on the day of the crash, collected a staggering $2.2 million of donations in the first 24 hours following the tragedy.
At the time of writing, that total currently sits at $10.8 million, with little sign of slowing down.
The tragedy was the subject of international attention as Candian officials and NHL players offered their condolences and assistance in the aftermath of the collision.
The @MapleLeafs send our thoughts and prayers to the entire @HumboldtBroncos community in this time. Hockey stands with you.— Toronto Maple Leafs (@Toronto Maple Leafs)1523069289.0
#Oilers Entertainment Group extends its thoughts & prayers to the SJHL's Humboldt Broncos, their families & the Hum… https://t.co/cKsvP5Ym5L— Edmonton Oilers (@Edmonton Oilers)1523070891.0
I cannot imagine what these parents are going through, and my heart goes out to everyone affected by this terrible… https://t.co/LYUVmkdwGy— Justin Trudeau (@Justin Trudeau)1523072019.0
#PrayersForHumboldt https://t.co/l9YE6fEnGv— Chicago Blackhawks (@Chicago Blackhawks)1523135999.0
It appears that attention has elicited goodwill and financial assistance from an unexpected number of sources, hopefully leaving the families of those affected with one less concern during their times of grief. The campaign mentions that Canadian airline WestJet is offering assistance for the families members trying to find their way to Saskatchewan.
Kellington hasn’t yet made any mention of disbursements to the families and victims but says in the campaign’s story that she is working with the GoFundMe staff to expedite that process.
Speaking to Humboldt radio station BoltFM earlier this week, she expressed her shock upon witnessing the donations climb.
“We started with a goal of $10,000, then we considered dropping it to $5,000 because we didn’t want to appear greedy,” she said. “Our original goal was just to pay for coffee and parking for the families at Royal University Hospital, and maybe the meals. We just had very limited goals because we didn't think it would go very far.”
Caitlin Hergott, who assisted in creating the campaign, spoke with humility of the outpouring of support for her campaign, telling BoltFM, “It’s humbling… and amazing… and astonishing and we’re both just so grateful that people want to help the Humboldt Broncos. And this will help them long-term.”