Paralyzed in bus crash, Canadian hockey teen to get treatment in Philadelphia

Humboldt mayor Rob Muench, right, in the Broncos team jersey, along with other mourners lay down flowers on the stairs that enter to Elgar Petersen Arena, home of the Humboldt Broncos, in Humboldt, Saskatchewan, Canada, on April 7. Sixteen people, including former Northern Michigan University hockey player Darcy Haugan, who was the Humboldt coach, were killed in the accident. (AP file photo)

CALGARY, Alberta (AP) — A young hockey player who was paralyzed in the Humboldt Broncos bus crash is coming to the U.S. for specialized treatment.

Ryan Straschnitzki, who has been getting physiotherapy twice a day at Calgary’s Foothills Medical Centre, is scheduled to board a medical flight Wednesday for Philadelphia, where he will continue his rehab at the Shriners Hospital for Children.

“The Shriners reached out a couple of weeks ago,” said Ryan’s father, Tom Straschnitzki. “He offered to have the Shriners make Ryan a Shriners Kid so he could go to Philly for spinal rehab there instead of staying here.

“It’s a big-time boost. He’s very excited. It’s fantastic news. We haven’t been there but we’ve heard about it, so you’ve gotta try it.”

The 19-year-old was paralyzed from the chest down when a bus carrying the Saskatchewan junior hockey team was in a collision with a semi-trailer on a rural highway April 6.

Straschnitzki said his son will be in Philadelphia for six to eight weeks.

The Broncos were on their way to a playoff game. Sixteen people were killed and 13 were injured.

Among those who died was the Broncos’ head coach and general manager Darcy Haugan, who played hockey at Northern Michigan University in the 1996-97 season.