Truck driver in fatal Humboldt Broncos crash pleads guilty

Blanche Robertson
January 9, 2019

Jaskirat Singh Sidhu, 29, was originally scheduled to appear Tuesday in Melfort provincial court in Saskatchewan for defence election but instead entered guilty pleas to 16 counts of unsafe driving causing death and 13 counts of risky driving causing bodily harm in connection with the crash last April.

Thirteen others were injured when Jaskirat Singh Sidhu's truck loaded with peat moss collided with the Humboldt Broncos hockey team bus in rural Saskatchewan in April.

On Tuesday, Jaskirat Singh Sidhu pleaded guilty to 16 counts of unsafe driving causing death and 13 charges of risky driving causing bodily harm following last year's April 6 crash, according to the Associated Press.

Sidhu's lawyer, Mark Brayford, spoke outside out of court after his client's plea.

Scott Thomas, who lost his 18-year-old son Evan in the crash, was present in the courtroom for Sidhu's plea.

Crown lawyer Thomas Healey said he might need up to five days for a sentencing hearing, which is to begin January 28. The maximum sentence for unsafe driving causing death is 14 years in jail, for risky driving causing injury, the maximum sentence is 10 years in jail.

"Mr. Sidhu advised me, 'I don't want to make things any worse'".

According to the Canadian Press, the crash caused the Saskatchewan government to do a review to improve safety at the intersection where the crash happened.

He isn't anxious about whether Jaskirat Singh Sidhu will go to prison for a long time.

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"If he spends a day, if he spends 10 years, time is irrelevant". "However, I also hope that by doing so, he doesn't get an absurdly reduced sentence as per our justice system".

"He was guilty. He acknowledged that". I've got to spend the rest of my life with it.

"I said, 'Now he goes to sentencing and it means we don't have to go to trial, and you won't have to speak, ' " Mr. Straschnitzki recalled.

"There's a big a hole in our family for the rest of our lives but we are not the only ones to go through this".

The Alberta semi driver charged in the Humboldt Broncos' bus crash has pleaded guilty to all 29 counts in connection with last year's highway tragedy.

During the three-month investigation, police took over 6000 photographs and used 3D technology to gather evidence from the scene.

"In order to lay these charges, we require evidence the motor vehicle was being operated in a manner that is unsafe to the public", a spokesman said.

Sidhu was arrested on July 6 at his home in Calgary.

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