One week ago, a bus carrying the Humboldt Broncos ice hockey team to a playoff game in Nipawin, Saskatchewan collided with a semi truck causing the death of 16 people and leaving an additional 13 injured. Among the fatalities was the team's play-by-play announcer Tyler Bieber, whose funeral service took place yesterday at the Broncos' home arena.
Bieber, who was in his first year calling the team's games in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League, was also an avid follower of the New England Patriots. And according to ESPN's Emily Kaplan, the team sent its condolences to the family of the 29-year old after team owner Robert Kraft learned of Bieber's pro football rooting interests.
The Patriots organization arranged for flowers to be sent to the funeral while Kraft himself additionally called Bieber's mother on Wednesday to leave a voicemail on her phone. The team also posted its condolences on Twitter:
Forever grateful for the support of one of our biggest fans.— New England Patriots (@Patriots) April 12, 2018
Our thoughts are with the Bieber family and the entire Humboldt community. RIP, Tyler. pic.twitter.com/vOaho4WpJw
Bieber was the first of the victims – including 10 players between the ages of 16 and 21 – to be laid to rest after the accident. ”He definitely had a natural talent [for broadcasting],” his co-worker at Humboldt radio station 107.5 Bolt FM, Steven Wilson, told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation after the crash. “He was just passionate about sports.” Bieber also coached Humboldt high school’s football and basketball teams.
If you want to support the families of the victims, please head over to GoFundMe.com to donate.