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

WATCH: Group of 150 gather for Fraser Valley Marches for Women in Chilliwack

Waving signs, women make their way down Young Road as part of second annual march in Chilliwack

VIDEO: Harrison sailor looking for competitors to race model boats

Bernhard Van Velze is hoping to create a club for model sailboats at Harrison Lake

Chilliwack prolific offender wanted yet again

B.C.-wide warrant issued for David Allen Geoghegan

One man, two women charged with stolen pickup downtown Chilliwack

None of the three have criminal history in B.C.

COLUMN: Should elected officials block constituents and reporters on social media?

Ottawa mayor was sued for doing that but a Chilliwack school trustee didn’t get that message

Keep focus on helping Canadians at home, Trudeau tells MPs at start of meeting

Trudeau said the Liberals will offer Canadians hope amid issue like climate change and global tensions

Patriots make 3rd straight Super Bowl, beat Chiefs 37-31 in OT

New England will meet L.A. Rams in NFL title game

Pettersson returns to lead Canucks to 3-2 win over Red Wings

Vancouver’s super rookie has 2 points in first game back after knee injury

Crash closes Coquihalla southbound lane south of Merritt

Accident occurred approximately 26 kilometres south of Merritt

Skaters stranded in Saint John, NB, amid storm on last day of championships

More than half of the flights out of the city’s airport were cancelled due to the weather

Call for tighter bail rules after Saudi sex-crime suspect vanishes

Mohammed Zuraibi Alzoabi was facing charges related to alleged sexual assault, criminal harassment, assault and forcible confinement of a woman

12 poisoned eagles found on Vancouver Island

Improper disposal of euthanized animal suspected

Olympic softball qualifier to be held in B.C.

Tournament is to be held Aug. 25 to Sept. 1

B.C. resident creates global sport training program

The 20 hour course teaches the science and application of interval training at the university level

Most Read