Only two years have passed, but in many ways, a lifetime has been lived in these two years. As we go through this time of uncertainty, fear and grief, I am taken back to April 6th, 2018.
Just before 6 pm, I received a text message from a co-worker – a message that at the time did not register to being as serious as it was. Within a half hour, Lyle and I, along with our youngest son, Eric, decided to travel toward the collision site....may be it was just a fender bender, may be they hit the ditch....may be. Although we knew STARS was dispatched, and Dayna was taken to Tisdale Hospital, nothing could have prepared us for what would be waiting for us when we arrived. Our beautiful brown-eyed girl, Dayna, was broken, battered and bruised and clinging to life.
As the hours passed, more information began to make its way to us. 14 lives lost immediately, 15 in hospital, several clinging to life. Within 24 hours, another would lose his battle, but save at least 6 by doing so. Through the next 4 days, we stayed by Dayna’s side, rarely leaving the ICU or hospital, praying, singing and talking to our beloved daughter. On April 11, 2018, Dayna succumbed to her injuries, injuries resulting from an inexperienced truck driver failing to stop.
The world knows our story and the story of the 2017-2018 Humboldt Broncos Jr. A hockey team. It is a story with many holes – holes caused by the need to transport goods across this great country by the cheapest and quickest means available. April 6th, 2018 has united many of us to fight for change. Change in training, licensing and legislation.
To everyone who put their stick out, wore a jersey or selflessly donated to the many charities in the name of our loved ones, thank you. Now we need you to put your energies to helping us – contact your Transportation ministers and MPs – ask why Trucking is an essential service but not a professional trade. Ask who is training and testing the drivers? Ask why drivers licensed in one province are not required to do more training in other provinces and under different road and weather conditions?
We must work together to ensure our roads are as safe as possible. All drivers have a responsibility to be respectful and to drive with more care and attention. Give the transport trucks the room they need to travel our roads safely. Respect the signs and watch for traffic and pedestrians, your actions can be the difference between a safe trip or a deadly one.
Today is not about my grief it is about those 29 beautiful people on that bus. It is about the 16 lives gone forever and the 13 lives changed beyond recognition. It is about the collision that does not get national or international attention, because every time another death occurs on our roads, it is a preventable death. Every death is another family ripped apart and another life cut too short. Today is about bringing awareness to the reality that things must change if we are to prevent another April 6th.
Thank you for your support and messages of sympathy but also remember:
Tyler Bieber – Logan Boulet – Dayna Brons – Mark Cross – Glen Doerksen – Darcy Haugan – Adam Herold – Brody Hinz – Logan Hunter – Jaxon Joseph – Jacob Leicht – Conner Lukan – Logan Schatz – Evan Thomas – Parker Tobin – Stephen Wack
Graysen Cameron – Brayden Camrud – Kaleb Dahlgren – Bryce Fiske – Morgan Gobeil – Matthieu Gomercic – Xavier LaBelle – Layne Matechuk – Derek Patter – Nick Shumlanski – Ryan Straschnitzki – Tyler Smith – Jacob Wassermann
Director at Large, Safer Roads Canada Society
April 6, 2020