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

Randall seeks North Okanagan director seat

Mike Randall squares off against Amanda Shatzko for Vernon Area Regional District C

Vernon council candidate forum draws 400

Forum focuses on Greater Vernon Cultural Centre referendum and other hot election issue topics

Okanagan RCMP detachment hosts recruiting, exam sessions

If you’ve contemplated a career with RCMP, register for sessions at West Kelowna detachment

UPDATE: Vernon pair arrested in connection with 2017 homicide

Incident happened July 19 at Vernon apartment; man, woman arrested without incident

Resolution found in Vernon car surfing death case: defence

Byron James Walterhouse will appear to fix a date for disposition Oct. 18

Rick Mercer says pot is ‘excruciatingly boring’

Comedian hopes Canadians will move onto something else once marijuana is legalized

Kelowna skeet shooter wins two world titles

Bob LaRue also stands alone as only certified Level 3 skeet shooting instructor outside U.S.

Canada Post union issues strike notice; rotating strikes could begin Monday

Union says rotating strikes will begin if agreements aren’t reached with bargaining units

Carole James avoids questions on B.C.’s payroll tax (with video)

Green MLA Adam Olsen cites huge tax increase for local business

BCTF wins grievance over teacher shortage in public schools

Arbitrator found Chilliwack school district did not hire enough on-call teachers or librarians

2 charged for feeding B.C. bear Tim Horton’s timbits

Court documents show that Randy Scott and Megan Hiltz have both been charged with feeding or attempting to feed dangerous wildlife.

Killer-rapist Paul Bernardo set for parole bid after 25 years in prison

Bernardo’s parole hearing at the Bath Institution is expected to attract numerous observers

Feds aiming to select preferred design for $60B warships by end of month

Defence insiders say the government wants to select a design by the end of the month from among three options submitted by several of the largest defence and shipbuilding companies in the world.

B.C. city wants control over its cannabis advertising rules

Without a say, towns and cities risk Washington-State-style flood of advertising, proponent says

Most Read