Humboldt Broncos trainer dies days after crash

Victims of the Saskatchewan hockey team bus crash
Saskatchewan Health Authority via CNN
Dayna Brons, the team's athletic therapist

Fueled by her love for sports, Dayna Brons was focused on making the Humboldt Broncos shine on the ice. They dreamed of winning their league’s championship and she helped them get ready.

Brons, the athletic therapist of the Humboldt Broncos, was the only woman aboard the junior hockey team’s bus when it collided with a tractor-trailer last week in Canada’s Saskatchewan province. On Wednesday, she died from her injuries, according to the Saskatchewan Health Authority.

Brons is the 16th person to die as a result of the crash. Ten players and five others, including two coaches were killed in last week’s collision.

“Dayna will be forever remembered for her joyful smile, and her passion and love of sport,” her family said in a statement.

She was “extremely proud to be part of the Broncos family,” her family added.

The 24-year-old had been the athletic therapist for the Humboldt Broncos since 2016. After growing up in Lake Lenore, a town about 20 miles south of Humboldt, joining the team was like coming back home.

“I have grown up watching the team and I’ve got a place to stay there so no problem at all for me to come back home,” she said in an interview with a local radio station about her joining the team.

She would prep the team’s equipment before the team arrived for practice or a game. And once the players arrived, she would get them ready to hit the ice by taping them, treating their injuries and helping them warm up.

“As the athletic therapist, the impact she made on the team was equal to that of any player,” Canadian hockey star Hayley Wickenheiser told CNN.

“Because a hockey team like this doesn’t have the budget of an NHL team, she was doing that job that at least nine people are doing for a professional team,” she added.

But Brons loved her job, said Wickenheiser who has been in contact with Brons’ family since the crash.

“She wore many hats for the team as the athletic therapist but her family told me she truly loved her job and did it with tremendous joy and enthusiasm,” she said.

Brons’ love for sports led her to a career in athletic training. She graduated in 2016 with a bachelor of Kinesiology at the University of Regina, according to the school. She also received an advanced certificate in athletic therapy from Mount Royal University.

Barclay Dahlstrom, an instructor at the university, described her as a “bright student with a wonderful time and a kind heart.”

“She was someone who would put others ahead of herself. Although she was a quiet and soft-spoken presence, she was able to light up a room,” said Racquel Marshall, one of Brons’ former classmates.

Before joining the Broncos, she worked for a few junior league lacrosse and soccer teams, according to CNN partner CBC.

Mourners pay tribute with wraps, tape

People in Canada and the United States, including sport medicine professionals and athletes, honored Brons on Wednesday with small tributes.

“Because if her boys are playing, you know she is right there to take care of them,” Katie Rosa, a high school athletic trainer from Knoxville, Tennessee, tweeted along a photo of her tribute.

They placed athletic wraps and tape, along ice packs and hockey sticks on their porches. Some left their athletic trainer bags out or hang them on their front door’s handles.