Two survivors of the deadly bus crash in which the Humboldt Broncos, the junior hockey team, lost 16 team members and injuries to 13 others, Tyler Smith and Kaleb Dahlgren are focusing on healing and building their futures.
Scheduled to air on CBC-TV, Humboldt: The New Season will chronicle the lives of the two crash survivors and others as they try to come to terms with the trauma of April 6, 2018, when a semi-trailer unit collided with the team bus in rural Saskatchewan. Sixteen people died and 13 were injured.
“It’s impossible to try to fully heal or get that closure … but now it’s more or less doing the proper things and seeking out help when you need and not forcing it,” says Smith. He has since returned to play with the team for a bit last season and then decided to go home to focus on himself and his loved ones in Leduc, Alta. This fall, he’ll enter the radio and television program at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology.
Undergoing craniosacral therapy for a third-degree brain injury he suffered in the crash, Saskatoon-based Dahlgren, 22, says: “Controlling the things I can control has helped me tremendously throughout this process,” adding he’s also trying to get medical clearance to play in a hockey game again. Dahlgren intends to continue his business commerce degree at Toronto’s York University this fall and aim for the goal of possibly shifting into chiropractic studies.
“Because I can’t control the accident, I can’t control injuries I had or people that aren’t here,” Dahlgren says. “All I can control is myself and how I perceive it and my actions.”
Kevin Eastwood and Lucas Frison co-wrote and co-directed “Humboldt: The New Season,” which follows five of the survivors and some of the families of the deceased as the 2018-2019 Humboldt hockey season unfolds with a different coaching staff and some new teammates.
The film also shows the trial and sentencing of the truck driver responsible for the accident.
Frison says late Broncos’ assistant coach Mark Cross, who died in the crash, was his best friend growing up in Strasbourg, Sask. They were “inseparable” since they were about three and played hockey together, so once the grief and shock of the tragedy wore off, Frison knew his next project had to commemorate Cross in some way.