When Karson, Ryane and baby Jasper Evanovich moved to Nipawin from North Battleford in March to begin their new lives with the Nipawin Apostolic Church, it was both exciting and scary for the young couple. Nothing could have prepared Karson for the events of April 6, however, when a semi-trailer and a bus carrying the Humboldt Broncos Junior ‘A’ hockey team collided near the intersection of Highway 35 and Highway 335 near Tisdale.
“My wife told me there was a bus accident and it might be a good idea to go to the church to see if I could lend a hand,” Karson said. “I had no idea the magnitude of the accident. As soon as I walked through the door of the church I realized the scale of what happened.”
The carnage on the highway that evening left 16 dead and 13 injured.
Evanovich said the church was opened to families of the Humboldt Broncos, who were en route to a playoff game in Nipawin a the time of the accident. Many family members arrived in the community in search of answers and solace in the aftermath of the accident, he said.
“At a time like that you just have to be present and show them that you are there with them in their time of need and show people you care,” he said. “You can’t console someone in minutes. This is going to be a long process for the families and the communities involved.”
Karson said the outpouring of love and support from the surrounding communities to the families involved was particularly touching in a difficult time.
“It was incredible to see the support that came from all around the province in the hours following the tragedy,” Carson said. “At one time we had so much food and blankets we had to go to social media and ask people to stop."
Since the tragedy, support for the community has been pouring in from around the world, with hundreds of thousands of condolences being sent to the families of the victims and survivors and a GoFundMe campaign that has raised approximately $12 million.
On Twitter: @battlefordsNOW
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