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Still investigating: RCMP say too early to know how the Broncos crash happened

Last Updated Apr 19, 2018 at 11:48 am PDT

At the scene of the Humboldt Broncos bus crash in northeastern Saskatchewan. (Greg Harper, City News)

REGINA – Police say it’s too early to say what happened that led to a fatal bus crash involving the Humboldt Broncos junior hockey team and whether charges will be laid.

RCMP Assistant Commissioner Curtis Zablocki says what is certain is that a tractor-trailer was in the intersection when the truck and the team bus collided on April 6.

Sixteen people — including 10 players — were killed and another 13 people were injured. The driver of the semi-trailer was not hurt.

Zablocki says there are still many unanswered questions and an investigation of such magnitude is measured in weeks or months, not days.

He says experts are looking into three areas: environmental factors such as road conditions and visibility, the mechanics of both vehicles and the role of the drivers.

Zablocki notes police can say that the semi was in the intersection at the time of the collision — but why remains to be seen.

“It’s too early in the investigation to make any determinations, in that regard… We wanted to answer the question of why and how that truck was in the intersection.”

 

Investigators have recovered the engine control modules from both vehicles and sent them to California to check for such things as speed and brake application. Zablocki says the data gleaned from those modules will be vital to investigators.

“Until the analysis is complete, we will not know what data was recorded by each vehicle prior to the collision. And it’s important to note that this data is used to supplement a scene investigation and assist in the examination of the circumstances of the event.”

The intersection north of Saskatoon is closed today because a forensic collision reconstruction team is doing more tests and analysis.

The update from RCMP came a day after the GoFundMe page, which was raising money for victims and their families, closed. It raised more than $15 million.