Humboldt Broncos hockey player Ryan Straschnitzki, who was paralyzed following a bus crash that killed 16 people, is wheeled by his father Tom as his mother Michelle, centre, walks beside in Calgary, Alta., Wednesday, April 25, 2018.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Humboldt player’s parents deal with phoney fundraiser

Fake Twitter account for Humboldt Bronco set up to solicit money through GoFundMe campaign

Tom and Michelle Straschnitzki have seen the best in people over the last three weeks as their son has worked to recover after being paralyzed in a crash between his hockey team’s bus and a transport truck.

On Monday, they also saw the worst.

Tom Straschnitzki said he woke up early and was alerted on Twitter that someone using Ryan’s name had set up a fake account and was seeking money for a GoFundMe campaign.

It had Ryan’s picture, as well as a photo of the Humboldt Broncos Saskatchewan junior hockey team.

“I phoned him and said, ‘Is this your Twitter account?’ And he freaked out and went, ‘No, it’s not. Everyone is going to think this is fake. My teammates are going to hate me thinking I’m trying to get money,’” said Tom Straschnitzki told The Canadian Press.

“It took a long time to calm him down. I said, ‘We’ll take care of it. I kind of warned you this stuff can happen.’”

Straschnitzki alerted a couple of friends who contacted GoFundMe which shut down the campaign. Tweets from the fake account, which had over 1,700 followers, were deleted and the name was changed at least twice by mid-afternoon.

Straschnitzki tweeted a message to the person responsible for his son’s fake account and suggested that he “should meet me at the hospital today. This way he will be closer to emergency.”

He’s most worried about the impact on Ryan.

“Ryan wears everything on his sleeve. He’s kind of a little too trusting but now he knows this could happen,” he said.

“But if you look at the odds out of the millions that are supporting Ryan, that’s just one.”

Michelle Straschnitzki had hoped it wouldn’t happen, but said too often people try to take advantage of a tragedy.

“It reminds you that there are absolute jerks out there,” she said. “In the world that we live in, it’s not surprising. It’s disheartening, but it’s not surprising.”

Ryan, 19, continues to undergo treatment and rehabilitation.

The collision April 6 in rural Saskatchewan is still being investigated. RCMP have only said the transport truck was in the intersection when the crash occurred.

The Broncos were on their way to a playoff game when 16 people were killed and 13 were injured.

The Canadian Press

Just Posted

Fraser Valley Bandits reveal mascot name

Berry the Bandit officially unveiled, makes first public appearance tomorrow

End ‘exploitative’ parking fees at Lower Mainland hospitals, group says

HospitalPayParking.ca is criticizing a new contract between health authorities and Impark

UFV celebrates 2019 HOF class

Third annual Cascades Hall of Fame event occurs on Friday night

Your daily commute and weather forecast: Jan. 22, 2019

A bit of rain over the next couple days, then into another sunny stretch. Plenty of congestion today.

Abbotsford Hospice Society’s Butterfly Ball receives $15,000 donation

Funds for event in April come from group of advisors with The Co-operators

New Canada Food Guide nixes portion sizes, promotes plant-based proteins

Guide no longer lists milk and dairy products as a distinct food group

Man accused of threatening to kill ‘as many girls as I see’

Christopher W. Cleary wrote he was angry because he’d never had a girlfriend and wanted to ‘make it right’ with a mass shooting

Cannabis-carrying border crossers could be hit with fines under coming system

Penalties are slated to be in place some time next year

Canadian talent abound on newly revamped Vancouver Whitecaps squad

Lineup is full of new faces after the organization parted ways with 18 players over the off-season

B.C. Green leader calls for long-term legislature financial audit

Andrew Weaver says trust in clerk and sergeant at arms is gone

No charges in fatal police Taser incident in Chilliwack

RCMP watchdog concludes no evidence of excessive or disproportionate force was used by officers

Here’s what the B.C. legislature officers are accused of buying with taxpayers’ money

Personal trips, purchases, alcohol and more laid out in 76-page report by Plecas

Alberta youth charged over theft of $17,000 in snow equipment at B.C. ski resort

Alberta RCMP recovered $17,000 in skis/snowboards believed stolen from Fernie Alpine Resort Saturday

China demands U.S. drop Huawei extradition request with Canada

Hua said China demands that the U.S. withdraw the arrest warrant against Meng Wanzhou

Most Read