Family of Humboldt Broncos player says GoFundMe should be split evenly

Officials with the team have said they will establish an advisory committee

At least one family whose son was injured in the Humboldt Broncos bus crash says the millions raised by a GoFundMe campaign should be split evenly among the survivors and the families of those killed.

The fundraiser was created immediately after the April 6 accident and raised $15.2 million in less than two weeks.

The cash is being transferred to a new non-profit corporation called the Humboldt Broncos Memorial Fund Inc. and is expected to be distributed to victims in the coming months.

“I just say divide it, but that’s just me,” said Tom Straschnitzki, whose son Ryan was paralyzed from the chest down. “That’s my opinion.”

Sixteen people — including 10 players — were killed and another 13 players were injured a month ago when the junior hockey team’s bus and a semi collided at a rural intersection.

No other families have offered an opinion, but officials with the team have said they will establish an advisory committee that will make recommendations on how the money should be doled out.

“They will end up going through a process that involves the courts,” said Kevin Garinger, president of the Humboldt Broncos. ”We want to do it fairly.

“We just want to make sure that if there is anyone who wants to or needs to dispute anything … that they have a way of doing that.”

A U.S.-based lawyer said he has suggested the team appoint an administrator and community advisory committee.

“The first step should be for the administrator to draft a protocol that details the eligibility criteria and the methodology for calculating individual awards,” said Ken Feinberg, who has dealt with similar funds for victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and the Boston Marathon bombing.

“Then that draft document should be subject to a true public hearing in Humboldt open to everyone.”

Once they received input, the administrator and committee could decide how much would go to each victim without involving the courts, he said.

In the U.S., Feinberg said it is the law that 75 per cent of any money is split equally among families of those who have died. The rest goes to the injured.

He said those who are the most seriously hurt, particularly if they are in a coma or are paralyzed, receive more.

“There’s only one question to determine that — how long were you in the hospital?” he said. “If you are in the hospital for over a month, we would presume you were more physically injured in the crash than someone who was released after an overnight stay.”

Feinberg said the protocol is simple, but it can get complicated because emotions often take over.

The Straschnitzki family said they just want to see the cash go to the people who need it.

“When money gets involved, things get a little cuckoo,” said Michelle Straschnitzki, Ryan’s mother. ”I think it will be done well and I think it will be done equitably for the most part.”

Garinger said he’s still hopeful that the funds can be distributed quickly.

“We don’t expect it to take forever, or too long,” he said. “I don’t know how quickly our court system can work.”

He said it’s most important to ensure that everyone involved in the crash gets looked after.

“This was our family.”

Colette Derworiz and Bill Graveland, The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

TNG block roads, question gov’t on moose hunt

Chief Joe Alphonse confirmed Thursday they’ve deactivated the Raven Lake Road and the Mackin Creek Road just before the Island Lake turnoff

UBCM passes historic resolution brought forth by CCRD

If the resolution is successfully realized, it will mean groundbreaking change for local governments

Bella Coola RCMP appeal for public’s help in wake of suspicious fires

Four suspicious fires in the span of four months prompted local RCMP to bring in fire specialist

Municipal spending outpaces population growth 4-fold in B.C.: report

Canadian Federation of Independent Business has released its annual operational spending report

Series of suspicious fires prompt Bella Coola RCMP to bring in special investigator

Police investigate four fires set between June and Sept. in 4-Mile

Watch out for Pavement Patty: Drivers warned outside B.C. elementary school

New survey reveals unsafe school zones during 2018 back-to-school week

Horvat leads Canucks to 4-3 shootout victory over Kings

Vancouver dumps L.A. in NHL pre-season contest

Update: Search called off for missing plane between Edmonton and Chilliwack

Search efforts were concentrated along the Highway 5 corridor between Valemount and Kamloops

Why Whistler for ski jumping in 2026? Calgary proposal gets pushback

Calgary 2026 proposes re-using the 2010 ski jumping venue Whistler for that sport and nordic

Despite progress, threat of 232 tariffs dominates NAFTA negotiations

Any deal is seen to require congressional approval before Dec. 1 to survive new Mexican government

VIDEO: Hundreds line highway as family brings home body of B.C. teen

Northern B.C. showed their support by lining Hwy 16 as Jessica Patrick’s body returned to Smithers.

B.C. MP Todd Doherty receives award for saving man who collapsed on a plane

Conservative MP was flying from Vancouver to Prince George, B.C., in June last year

Alleged border jumper from Oregon facing 2 charges after police chase in B.C.

Colin Patrick Wilson charged with dangerous operation of motor vehicle, flight from a peace officer

More than 35 B.C. mayors elected without contest

No other candidates for mayor in the upcoming local election in 22 per cent of B.C. cities

Most Read