Sudden Death


A true story of hockey heartbreak, tragedy, and triumph.

Sudden Death brings to life the incredible ongoing saga of the Swift Current Broncos hockey team. After a tragic game-day bus accident on December 30, 1986, left four of its star players dead, the first-year Western Hockey League team was faced with nearly insurmountable odds against not only its future success but its very survival. The heartbreaking story made headlines across North America, and the club garnered acclaim when it triumphantly rebounded and won the Canadian Hockey League’s prestigious Memorial Cup in 1989.

Many of the surviving Broncos continued their successful hockey careers in the NHL, among them 2012 Hockey Hall of Famer Joe Sakic, Sheldon Kennedy, and Sudden Death co-author Bob Wilkie. Years later the Broncos’ tragedy-to-triumph tale was overshadowed when the team’s former coach, Graham James, was convicted of sexual assault against Sheldon Kennedy, Theoren Fleury, and Todd Holt, all of whom played for him.


The book is one that needs to be read…no matter whether you are a hockey fan or a sports fan!

Sudden Death: The Incredible Saga of the 1986 Swift Current Broncos was the passionate project of crash eyewitness Leesa Culp and Bronco star Bob Wilkie who both steadfastly believed this emotional story needed to be shared with a wider audience.

Southwest Booster

About the Authors

Leesa Culp

Posted by Kendra on December 6, 2014

Leesa Culp

Leesa Culp was one of the few witnesses to the crash of the Swift Current Broncos. She has been published by The Hockey News, the Penticton Herald, and the Sudbury Star.