Bill Rotheisler, head coach and general manager for the Castlegar Rebels, said he and the team have felt awful since hearing about the Humboldt Broncos bus crash. (John K. White/Castlegar News)

Rebels send thoughts and prayers to Broncos

The Castlegar Rebels are sending their thoughts and prayers to the Humbolt Broncos.

The Castlegar Rebels are sending their thoughts and prayers to the Humbolt Broncos after 15 lives were lost in a bus crash on Friday.

Bill Rotheisler, head coach and general manager for the Rebels, said he’s felt awful since he heard the news.

“It’s been tough. It’s awful, it’s awful, and you never wanna hear anything like that. You always know that you obviously take risks,” he said. “I think the tough part, that really hit us home, was there’s so many parallels between our own lives and we know that that could have happened to any one of us.”

Asked if the accident in Saskatchewan gives him pause when thinking about all the winter driving the Rebels will do next year, Rotheisler said it’s just part of territory, and he’s even had a close call before, when he was associate coach for the Creston Valley Thunder Cats, the year before he joined the Rebels.

“When I was in Creston we had to use a runaway lane and everyone kind of has their stories of sort of maybe minor incidents or something,” said Rotheisler. “So I’ve already had incidents that kind of make you think twice.”

“It was really scary. It ended up being pretty anticlimactic, obviously, there was nobody hurt, but … there was a time there we didn’t know how it was going to end and it was scary,” he added.

Rotheisler said all he and the other staff can do is make sure they’re doing the right things to protect the boys and avoid tragedy. Though in the case of the Broncos, he says it’s not clear what could have been done differently.

“I think that’s what makes it so sad and awful is that everyone always looks for a place you can point the finger and it just doesn’t seem like there is one in this case,” said Rotheisler. “It’s just an awful tragedy that you feel just should have never happened.”

The cause of the crash is still under investigation.

The crash also hit home because some of the Rebels were close to members of the Broncos.

“Another reason why everyone is so affected by this is that they say there’s seven degrees of separation in the world, but everyone seems to have one degree of separation on this one,” said Rotheisler. “We have our own guys on our team that were extremely close to those guys.”

He said the Rebels hope that those still in critical care will make a full recovery.

Castlegar to hold vigil

A vigil in support of the Humboldt Broncos will be held on Thursday, April 12 at 6:30 p.m. at the Castlegar & District Recreation Centre arena.

“Please join us … for a vigil to recognize the horrific tragedy that happened to the Humboldt Broncos Hockey Team on Friday, April 6,” wrote Coun. Sue Heaton Sherstobitoff in a press release. “The hockey world is a very tight-knit community and as such, it is fitting that Castlegar show its respect to shine a light on the community to give them strength through this difficult time.”

The vigil will include speakers, singers and drummers, and those who attend are asked to wear a jersey, from any sport, in support of the Broncos.

There will also be condolence books to sign and jars to collect donations to the team.

Just Posted

Blooms abound at BC/Yukon Peony Show

The show was held last weekend in Castlegar, home to the 2019 National Peony Show.

RCMP identify Beasley body, foul play suspected

The remains of Lemar Halimi were discovered in May

SLIDESHOW: Castlegar grad celebrations

Stanley Humphries Secondary School said congratulations to the Class of 2018.

Unregulated private land logging continues near Nelson at Cottonwood Lake

Sunshine Logging of Kaslo is cutting on private land in the area of Giveout Creek Road

LETTERS: Castlegar Complex expansion

One in favour, one against expansion plans.

SLIDESHOW: Castlegar grad celebrations

Stanley Humphries Secondary School said congratulations to the Class of 2018.

Port of Prince Rupert names Shaun Stevenson as new CEO

Stevenson has worked for the port for 21 years as vice president of trade development

Senate officially passes Canada’s marijuana legalization bill

Bill C-45 now moves to royal assent, which is the final step in the legislative process

Fake attempted abduction not funny to B.C. neighbourhood residents

Two teenage boys won’t face criminal charges after scaring girl

Mosquitoes out in full force already? Blame the weather

But a B.C. mosquito expert says the heat wave will help keep the pests at bay

Man pleads not guilty in 1987 slayings of B.C. couple

William Talbott of SeaTac was arraigned Tuesday in Snohomish County Superior Court

New GOP plan: Hold kids longer at border – but with parents

Move would ease rules that limit how much time minors can be held with their parents

Without a big data strategy, Canadians at risk of being ‘data cows’

Presentation said artificial intelligence could give Facebook and Amazon even more power

Five B.C. families stuck in Japan as Canada refuses visas for adopted babies

Lawyer points to change in American policy around adoptions from Japan

Most Read