A small Saskatchewan community is mourning the death of a former Humboldt Broncos player and his young family, who were among the six people who died in a car crash in southwestern Saskatchewan on Friday.
Officials identified Troy Gasper, 26, his wife Carissa Gasper, 28, and their three children as five of the victims of the fatal crash near Elrose, Sask.
Police said the family of five – including three children aged six, four and two – died after their SUV was involved in what RCMP described as a head-on collision with another vehicle Friday.
The mayor of the family’s hometown of Rosetown, Sask., approximately 40 kilometres north of Elrose, said the news has left the entire town in “in a state of shock.”
“To see a young, bright, well-loved family in the community like that just gone, it’s incomprehensible almost,” Adam Krieser said in a phone interview.
Krieser, who lived on the same street as the couple, described Troy Gasper as a well-known community member and a young father who coached his children in hockey and baseball.
Carissa Gasper, he said, was born and raised in the 2,500-person town and worked at a family business.
Krieser said he last saw the family on Friday as they prepared to head to the lake for the weekend, just hours before the crash.
“The kids were in and out of my house with my children all day, Troy was off a little early and they were getting ready to go to their cabin at the lake,” he said.
“We had talked a bit about the weekend plans and the coming summer. It was a beautiful day, and it ended up ending tragically.”
The Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League also expressed its sadness over Gasper’s death, noting he played with the Broncos for two seasons between 2009 and 2011.
The team was hit by tragedy earlier this year when a bus carrying the team collided with a semi-trailer in rural Saskatchewan, killing 16.
An elementary school in Rosetown said one of its students, Kael Gasper, was killed in the collision along with her family. It said it would offer counselling services at the school on Monday and Tuesday.
The 71-year-old woman driving the other vehicle, who police say was from the Swift Current, Sask., area, also died in the crash.