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Broadcasters killed in bus crash mourned by Manitoba-based radio network

Organizers prepare the Elgar Petersen Arena for a vigil tonight in Humboldt, Sask. A charter bus carrying the town's Broncos hockey team was involved in a collision with a semi-truck Friday, killing 15 people and seriously injuring more than a dozen others.

CP

Organizers prepare the Elgar Petersen Arena for a vigil tonight in Humboldt, Sask. A charter bus carrying the town's Broncos hockey team was involved in a collision with a semi-truck Friday, killing 15 people and seriously injuring more than a dozen others.

Altona-based Golden West Broadcasting is moving extra staff and grief counsellors to its CHBO radio station in Humboldt after two employees were killed in the tragic bus crash involving the Humboldt Broncos Friday.

"You just pull out all the stops you can to help. There's no handbook on this," said CEO Elmer Hildebrand.

Tyler Bieber, 24, play-by-play man for Bronco broadcasts, and aspiring radio assistant, Brody Hinz, 18, who acted as statistician and colour commentator, died in the crash.

"At this point, our aim is to support our employees through this process. We've not had this kind of tragedy in our company before," said Hildebrand.

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Altona-based Golden West Broadcasting is moving extra staff and grief counsellors to its CHBO radio station in Humboldt after two employees were killed in the tragic bus crash involving the Humboldt Broncos Friday.

"You just pull out all the stops you can to help. There's no handbook on this," said CEO Elmer Hildebrand.

Tyler Bieber, 24, play-by-play man for Bronco broadcasts, and aspiring radio assistant, Brody Hinz, 18, who acted as statistician and colour commentator, died in the crash.

"At this point, our aim is to support our employees through this process. We've not had this kind of tragedy in our company before," said Hildebrand.

GOLDEN WEST MEDIA
Tyler Bieber, who was the team's play-by-play announcer, died in Friday's crash. He worked for Manitoba-based Golden West Broadcasting.

GOLDEN WEST MEDIA Tyler Bieber, who was the team's play-by-play announcer, died in Friday's crash. He worked for Manitoba-based Golden West Broadcasting.

Golden West, which began with a single radio station in Altona in 1957, has 44 radio stations and more than 400 employees across the Prairies today. Golden West also owns the classical music station, 107.1 FM.

Hildebrand said it has at least 10 teams of announcers that follow junior hockey teams in Manitoba and Saskatchewan, broadcasting home and away games.

"We've got involvement with hockey teams everywhere. The teams are an integral part of the community," Hildebrand said.

In Saskatchewan, Golden West broadcasts junior hockey games for teams in Estevan, Weyburn, Moose Jaw, Swift Current, Kindersley, Rosetown, and Humboldt; and Steinbach, Winkler and Portage la Prairie in Manitoba.

The broadcasters frequently accompany teams on the bus.

SUBMITTED
Brody Hintz, 18, a stats keeper for the Brocos, died in Friday's crash northeast of Saskatoon. He was just beginning his broadcasting career for Golden West Broadcasting, which is based in Altona, Man.

SUBMITTED Brody Hintz, 18, a stats keeper for the Brocos, died in Friday's crash northeast of Saskatoon. He was just beginning his broadcasting career for Golden West Broadcasting, which is based in Altona, Man.

"We're involved with all of these hockey teams intimately," including often riding on team buses. "They're always on the bus," he said.

"I was at the Winnipeg Jets game last night, and pretty well every one of those players, whether a Jet or a Hawk, they've spent years on the bus. They all came up through that kind of a process. Until you make it to the NHL, you're on the bus."

It's the same with budding broadcasters, Hildebrand said.

Golden West president Lyndon Friesen said in a prepared statement that Tyler, who had worked with Golden West for five years, travelled with the team frequently as the play-by-play announcer. "Having been with Golden West since the launch of Bolt FM in news and on-air, Tyler was a shining example of what it means to serve a community," Friesen said.

Brody was his understudy. "Brody had recently joined our Golden West family, mentored by Tyler and the Bolt FM team," Friesen said.

Both Tyler and Brody were from Humboldt.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of all the young men we lost, and our own colleagues, whose lives have been cut short by this tragic event."

bill.redekop@freepress.mb.ca

Bill Redekop

Bill Redekop
Rural Reporter

Bill Redekop has been covering rural issues for going on two decades.

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THE CANADIAN PRESS
Humboldt Broncos defenceman Xavier Labelle is shown in this undated team photo. A defenceman for the Humboldt Broncos is among 15 killed in a horrific bus crash in Saskatchewan. Labelle was confirmed dead by his brother Isaac Labelle in an Instagram post.  (CP)
Humboldt Broncos tragedy
THE CANADIAN PRESS
Humboldt Broncos defenceman Stephen Wack is shown in this undated team photo. A defenceman for the Humboldt Broncos is among 15 killed in a horrific bus crash in Saskatchewan. Alicia Wack, cousin of Stephen Wack, told The Canadian Press he did not survive when a bus carrying the junior hockey team collided with a truck on an eastern Saskatchewan highway Friday.  (CP)
Humboldt Broncos right winger Evan Thomas is shown in this undated team photo. A forward in his first season with the Humboldt Broncos is among the 15 people killed after a collision between a truck and a bus carrying the junior hockey team in Saskatchewan. Evan Thomas, who was 18 and from Saskatoon, was on the bus as it travelled to a playoff game Friday in Nipawin. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League (CP)
Humboldt Broncos centre Jaxon Joseph is shown in this undated team photo. One of the Humboldt Broncos top forwards Jaxon Joseph is among the 14 dead following a collision between a bus and a transport truck in Saskatchewan. The winger's death was confirmed by the Surrey Eagles, his former team in the British Columbia Hockey League. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League (CP)
SASKATCHEWAN JUNIOR HOCKEY LEAGUE
Humboldt Broncos left winger Conner Lukan is shown in this undated team photo. A forward from Alberta is among the 15 people killed after a collision between a truck and a bus carrying the Humboldt Broncos junior hockey team in Saskatchewan. Conner Lukan, 21, of Slave Lake was on the bus as it travelled to a playoff game Friday in Nipawin. (CP)
Humboldt Broncos centre Logan Schatz is shown in this undated team photo. The captain of the Humboldt Broncos hockey team is among 14 dead following a horrific bus crash in Saskatchewan. Logan Schatz died along with head coach Darcy Haugan when the junior hockey team's bus collided with a truck on the way to a playoff game in northeastern Saskatchewan Friday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League (CP)
Humboldt Broncos right wing Logan Hunter is shown in this undated team photo. Hunter's death was confirmed by his former team, the St. Albert Raiders in his Alberta hometown. The organization's president, Kevin Porter, said he heard the news from Hunter's mother. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League (CP)
GOLDEN WEST MEDIA
Tyler Bieber, who was the team's play-by-play announcer, died in Friday's crash.
DISCOVERHUMBOLDT.COM
Brody Hintz, 18, a stats keeper for the Brocos, died in Friday's crash northeast of Saskatoon.
The wreckage of a fatal crash outside of Tisdale, Sask., is seen Saturday, April, 7, 2018. A bus carrying the Humboldt Broncos hockey team crashed into a truck en route to Nipawin for a game Friday night killing 14 and sending over a dozen more to the hospital. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
HUMBOLDT BRONCOS
Matthieu Gomercic suffered several lacerations, an injured jaw and broken shoulder, according to Donna Mikkola.</p>
JOHN WOODS / THE CANADIAN PRESS
Winnipeg Jets and the Chicago Blackhawks come together at centre ice wearing Broncos on the back of their jerseys for a moment of silence for the Humboldt Broncos bus crash victims before NHL action in Winnipeg on Saturday, April 7, 2018.  (CP)
LIAM RICHARDS/ THE CANADIAN PRESS
Members of the 1886 Humboldt Knights of Columbus prepare and serve a pancake breakfast at St. Augustine Church in Humboldt, Sask., on Sunday, April 8, 2018. 15 people travelling with the Humboldt Broncos SJHL hockey team are dead, and many injured when their bus was collided with a semi-trailer 30 kilometres north of Tisdale, Sask. (CP)

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