Humboldt Broncos bus crash claims 16th victim, as athletic therapist dies in hospital

Dayna Brons, the lone woman aboard the Humboldt Broncos’ team bus when it collided with a transport truck on April 6, has died.

Family and friends had been waiting anxiously, hoping the 25-year-old athletic therapist would pull through after she suffered serious head trauma, relative Dale Brons told The Canadian Press on Tuesday.

At that time, he said she had undergone two surgeries, and was on a breathing apparatus. 

However, on Wednesday afternoon, her family confirmed in a statement that she had died peacefully. 

“She was surrounded by those she loved and those who loved her,” the statement said. “Dayna will be forever remembered for her joyful smile, and her passion and love of sport.”

Over the last few days, lacrosse and soccer teams that Brons had worked with had offered their support for the keen, happy trainer on social media. So did Canadian women’s hockey star Hayley Wickenheiser, an Olympian.

“‘The only girl on the boys team’ … Dayna I’ve been thinking of you a lot! Praying you pull through,” she wrote.

Brons was originally from Lake Lenore, Sask., about 30 kilometres northeast of Humboldt, and had gone to school at the University of Regina, getting a degree in kinesiology and health studies.  

“I grew up playing different sports, I really loved to play the game and I just loved being active, so it was suggested to me to be an athletic therapist,” she said in an interview in 2016, following her hiring by the Broncos.

Brons recalled having grown up watching the team, and having a place to land when she got back, adding there was “no problem at all for me to come back home.”

On Friday night, she was travelling on a bus with the team for Game 5 in a semifinal series between the Humboldt Broncos and the Nipawin Hawks when it collided with a tractor-trailer. Fifteen people were declared dead in the aftermath, and another 14 — including Brons — injured.

Her family said Brons had been “extremely proud” to be part of the Broncos’ family.

They offered their thanks to the people who cared for Brons, as well as “everyone across Saskatchewan and Canada for their love and prayers during this very difficult time.”

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