The Humboldt Broncos bus crash remains one of the most tragic events of the year, and we still want to keep you informed on new details that come out of this devastating event. And, finally, there is some good news.
Humboldt Broncos 18-year-old defenseman Xavier Labelle has been released from hospital, two months after the team’s fatal bus crash. While he has no recollection of the crash or the two weeks that followed, he is determined to push through with his recovery.
Labelle was at the centre of a shocking twist of events when the bus crash occurred when Saskatchewan’s Ministry of Justice announced that one of the deceased was misidentified. The ministry revealed the body of goaltender Parker Tobin was mistaken for that of teammate Labelle.
It was then explained that Labelle had been injured but was alive and fighting for his life in a nearby hospital while Tobin was amongst the 15 individuals who died when the bus carrying the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League team collided with a semi-transport truck on Saskatchewan’s Highway 35.
The Office of the Chief Coroner apologized for the misidentification, offering condolences to Tobin’s family and sincerely apologies to Labelle and his family. The ministry did not say how the mix-up occurred.
Upon his release from the hospital, Labelle made a statement:
“It was a privilege and an honour to get to know so many incredible people: Coach Darcy, Coach Mark, Dayna, Glen, Biebs, Brody, Schatzy, Bouls, Swack, Lukes, Joey, Leichter, Tobes, Herold, Tommy, Hunts … I miss you all,” he said in his statement.
“As last season’s playoffs kicked off, our team began wearing workout shirts with the word ‘believe’ across the front. We believed in each other. I believe people will never forget what happened to us. I believe we will get through this together.”
Labelle has been recovering from multiple injuries, including a fractured skull, a concussion, nerve damage impacting the legs and left arm, internal bleeding, and several other internal injuries, and approximately 20 broken bones.
“In the early stages of my recovery I needed help to sit up – help to do all those things we take for granted, like eating and brushing my teeth,” he added in his statement.
“It was awful, but today I am able to walk and look forward to eventually running and skating. I am healing, and I am feeling better every day.”