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The players had been on their way to compete in Game 5 of a playoff series against the Nipawin Hawks when the bus they were traveling in collided with a semi-trailer.

"They're part of the families of these billets", he said.

The identity of eight victims has been released: Humboldt Broncos head coach Darcy Haugan; play-by-play radio announcer Tyler Bieber; team captain Logan Schatz, 20; and players Adam Herold, 16; Logan Hunter, 18; Jaxon Joseph, 20; Stephen Wack, 21; and Logan Boulet; 21.

Between masses, streams of people - many of them red-eyed from crying - hugged each other as they attended a Knights of Columbus breakfast that had already been scheduled in the church's recreation room.

"I've known Conner for several years, playing against him throughout the majority of my minor hockey career and trying out for a handful of teams with him".

The president of the Humboldt Broncos, Kevin Garinger, said Haugan was an incredible coach who often talked about his vision for the team.

Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expressed his condolences on Twitter.

"Three of these people have injuries that are critical in nature", the RCMP said.

Twenty-one-year-old Logan Boulet was reported to have been taken off life support yesterday - his family say his organs were donated.

They gave no information about the status of the truck driver.

The driver of the tractor trailer was not injured in the crash, RCMP Saskatchewan assistant commissioner Curtis Zablocki told a media conference.

He was confirmed as one of the 14 people who died in Friday's crash. "To the entire Humboldt community: We are here for you".

Aerial footage showed the bus on its side, its roof peeled back and its front end destroyed.

Highway 335 has stop signs with flashing warning lights at the intersection with 35, but no rumble strips that are featured at many rural highway junctions. The force of the crash sent both vehicles into the ditch at the northwest corner of the intersection.

The cause of the collision is still under investigation and police said investigators will be looking at a number of possible factors, including road conditions and mechanical issues.

The mayor of Humboldt, Rob Muench, said he spoke to Trudeau, who relayed condolences from other world leaders.

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. The bus, which was going north, was ferrying the team to a game in Nipawin at the time of the accident. The Saskatchewan league is a feeder system for higher levels of hockey with many graduating to play at USA and Canadian colleges and major junior league level, while some go on to the National Hockey League. "Throughout Canada we see teens going out into the Canadian winters on buses all the time".

You send your kid away - in my case to junior hockey - or college hockey, or college soccer, and I always used to think about those vans that the coaches were driving in college soccer: I always thought those were a nightmare.