Scott Thomas and his family marked the second anniversary of the Humboldt Broncos bus crash with food.
Scott smiled as he recalled his son Evan’s love of Kraft Dinner and Bud Light. For dinner, steak and potatoes were a favourite.
Evan was one of the 16 who died when a semi-truck collided with the Saskatchewan junior hockey team’s bus on April 6, 2018.
“This hurts a lot more. It’s pretty real he’s not coming home,” Scott told Global News.
If not for the novel coronavirus pandemic, the Thomas family would have spent April 6 visiting the scene of the bus crash, followed by time spent in Humboldt with billet families and biological Bronco families. To unite from afar, several families had their pictures taken from their doorsteps.
The Thomas family, like many others, was in isolation at home in Saskatoon.
“This would’ve been such quality time with him. We’d have watched old movies, you know, but he’s not here for it, so this one hurts,” Thomas said.
The COVID-19 pandemic also affected the City of Humboldt’s plans to honour the 16 killed, 13 injured and countless others affected by the tragedy.
An in-person display of donated art and tributes was cancelled due to limits on public gatherings. In its place, the city held a virtual memorial, which included pictures and videos honouring the Broncos.
A Humboldt church bell tolled at 4:50 p.m., marking the time of the crash.
— Ryan Kessler (@RyanKGlobal) April 6, 2020
Looking ahead to another possible Broncos tribute, a Humboldt city committee is considering the construction of a multi-use recreational centre.
“A lot of the parents and families, I think, would like to do something that’s for the community as opposed to just a monument of some sort,” said Mayor Rob Muench.
Such a facility, according to Muench, would likely be attached to the Elgar Petersen Arena, where the Humboldt Broncos play their home games in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League.
During Monday’s provincial coronavirus briefing, Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe acknowledged the anniversary and its impact.
“Our communities, our province, our nation — we rallied around those whose lives were lost and their families and those whose lives were changed forever,” Moe said.
“Our thoughts are with those who continue with their legacy every day.”
During his coronavirus media availability, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had a hockey stick on his doorstep in honour of the Broncos.
Trudeau spoke to those who have lost friends, teammates and loved ones.
“I want you to know we’re here for you. We will always be here for you.”
© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.