CARROT RIVER, Sask. – Hundreds gathered in a small northeastern Saskatchewan town Friday to pay their respects to the Humboldt Broncos bus driver who died with 15 others as a result of the crash last week.
It was standing room only at the funeral for Glen Doerksen in Carrot River’s community hall.
Doerksen, 59, was driving the team’s bus to a junior hockey playoff game in Nipawin when there was a collision with a semi-trailer.
There were 29 people on the bus — 16 have died and 13 were injured.
The line to get into the community hall for the service stretched around the building and the doors had to be held open to accommodate everyone.
A man placed two trade union flags with pictures of buses at the entrance of the parking lot.
Among the attendees were two RCMP officers wearing their red serge and a group of men wearing hockey jerseys.
Reporters were asked not to attend the service.
Shortly after “Amazing Grace” was played, a man carried an urn from the hall and a woman held Doerksen’s picture as they entered a limousine.
Doerksen was described by his employer, Charlie’s Charters, as an “outstanding friend, husband, and father,” in a recent Facebook post.
“In talking to him, he spoke at length of his time in rinks with his own family and now how much he enjoyed being able to … watch other teams from minor, to senior to SJHL,” the Kinistino Tigers wrote of Doerksen.
It was one of three funerals on Friday for people who died in the crash.
Forward Jacob Leicht, 19, was remembered in his home city of Humboldt, while defecenman Adam Herold, the youngest member of the team at 16, had a funeral in Montmartre, Sask.
Services for some of the other victims will continue to be held over the weekend and into next week.