WATCH: The Humboldt Broncos bus crash has brought back painful memories for one Vancouver Island man. The junior team he played for in Saskatchewan 40 years ago was also involved in a fatal bus accident. Kendall Hanson reports.
When news of the Humboldt Broncos bus crash broke, it brought back painful memories for one Vancouver Island family.
“It’s crazy to think that something that catastrophic could happen,” said Trent Kaese in Cassidy.
Trent Kaese’s Bronco’s jersey, from before the team moved, hangs in his office.
In 1986, he played for the Swift Current Broncos but Kaese was traded just months before a crash on a Saskatchewan highway killed four of his former teammates.
“Very sad day,” said Kaese. “Very surreal for me knowing that I was on that bus for the last three years and then was riding it for a few weeks before I got traded.”
One of his former teammates who died in that crash had the same first name as Trent, wore the same number on his jersey and had a remarkably similar last name. His name Trent Kresse.
The similarities led to confusion in the aftermath of the crash.
“Everybody was phoning us and people were meeting and were offering condolences for our son and we said look, it’s not our son,” said Ted Kaese, Trent Kaese’s father.
Now, last week’s crash is causing them to relive their son’s near miss, and the pain of the other parents, all over again.
“It was very traumatic to have all of this unfold again so I really feel for the parents, the moms and the billets,” said Karin Kaese, Trent Kaese’s mother.
Trent Kaese went on to play one game in the NHL for the Buffalo Sabres before playing in Europe for several years.
Like many Canadians, Kaese has a hockey stick outside the golf course he works at plus a stick outside his home. It’s a way of showing his grief following this latest hockey bus tragedy.