PRINCE ALBERT - The agricultural community near Prince Albert, Sask., is grieving the death of a 34-year-old husband and father of three who died following a farming accident.
Matt Swaby died Nov. 26 leaving a wife and three children.
According to the Prince Albert Fire Department, the service had responded to the farm in the Rural Municipality of Prince Albert at 11:30 a.m. that day where they extricated a person trapped in a piece of machinery.
In a statement, family friend Nicole Hoffart said the Swaby's are taking this time to grieve, "but extend their appreciation for all of the overwhelming support from family, friends and the community during this difficult time."
A GoFundMe page set up to help support the deceased man's wife, Carla, and three boys, Thomas, 6, Blake, 4 and two-year-old Kody has already exceeded its initial goal of raising $150,000.
The funds will go toward helping, "Carla and the boys with the funeral, ranch expenses, education and hopefully some things that can bring Carla and the boys a smile," according to the GoFundMe page.
Swaby played hockey in the Western Hockey League for the Tri-City Americans for three seasons starting in 2004 before ending his major junior career in 2008 as captain of the Edmonton Oil Kings.
Both teams as well as the league issued statements of condolence to the family.
"The product of Prince Albert, Sask., was known for his determination, hard work and leadership, serving as the second captain in Oil Kings franchise history during his final season in the WHL," read the statement from the league. "The WHL expresses its deepest condolences to Matt's wife Carla, his three young sons and the entire Swaby family during this difficult time."
Swaby returned to his hometown of Prince Albert after playing three seasons with the University of Saskatchewan Huskies hockey team.