Former NHLer Chris Joseph and his wife, Andrea, whose son Jaxon was among the 16 players that were killed in the crash, visit the memorial for the Humboldt Broncos hockey team in Tisdale, Saskatchewan. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz)

Truck driver in Broncos crash apologizes to families

“I’m so, so, so, so sorry,” Jaskirat Singh Sidhu said to victims’ families

The truck driver who caused the deadly Humboldt Broncos bus crash says he takes full responsibility for the collision that killed 16 people and injured 13 others.

“It happened because of my lack of experience and I’m so, so, so, so sorry,” Jaskirat Singh Sidhu said as he stood and faced the victims’ families in a Melfort, Saskatchewan, courtroom on Thursday.

Sidhu told the families he can’t imagine what they are going through and realizes he took ”the most valuable things of your life.”

READ MORE: Humboldt Broncos victims’ families share how crash changed their lives

The judge said she will hand down her sentence on March 22.

Sidhu’s defence lawyers made no recommendation as to what the sentence should be for their client, but cited other dangerous driving cases that led to sentences ranging from 1 1/2 and 4 1/2 years behind bars.

Crown prosecutor Thomas Healey suggested 10 years and referenced a case that had a sentence of six years.

READ MORE: Crown wants truck driver sentenced to 10 years in Broncos crash

Sidhu faces a maximum sentence of 14 years for dangerous driving causing death and 10 years for dangerous driving causing bodily harm.

The Crown is also asking for the maximum driving prohibition of 10 years.

Healey said Sidhu was travelling between 86 and 96 km/hr when he passed four signs warning about the upcoming intersection before he came across an oversized stop sign with a flashing light.

READ MORE: Truck didn’t stop at intersection where Broncos crash happened

“Mr. Sidhu had more than enough time to bring the semi to a complete stop,” said Healey.

He said Sidhu should have seen the busy highway coming up right in front of him or a car stopped across the road that was waiting for the Broncos bus to pass.

“How do you miss that?” It’s just astounding,” Healey said. “All he had to do was stop. That’s all.”

Healey said it wasn’t a case of rolling through a stop sign.

“This was more like a rocket,” he said. ”There was no where for the bus driver, Glen Doerksen, to go …. He tried. He did all he could do.

“This wasn’t just an accident. This was a crime.”

Several family members of the victims have said their one big question is why?

Sidhu’s lawyer Mark Brayford told court Thursday that he couldn’t given them an answer.

“I’m disappointed to say that I can’t tell people what happened,” he said. ”He simply doesn’t know.”

“He beats himself up everyday. ‘Why didn’t I see the signs? Why didn’t I stop?’”

Brayford said his client was having trouble with the tarps on his load and he was inappropriately focused on that problem.

“His attention was on his two mirrors. I suggest a classic case of his inexperience working against them,” he said. “That’s his responsibility.”

He said there’s no evidence Sidhu deliberately chose to blow through the intersection, otherwise he would have been charged with criminal negligence.

Brayford added that any sentence over six months will likely mean his client is deported, because he is not a Canadian citizen.

Earlier Thursday, the Crown prosecutor told court that the Criminal Code was changed months after the crash to increase the maximum penalty for dangerous driving causing death to life in prison and to a maximum 14 years for dangerous driving causing bodily harm.

But he noted that Sidhu must be sentenced under the previous law.

Chris Purdy and Bill Graveland, The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

B.C. BUDGET: Surplus $374 million after bailouts of BC Hydro, ICBC

Growth projected stronger in 2020, Finance Minister Carole James says

Battle of the Bands winner set to perform at Char’s Landing

Sean Lyons is a singer-songwriter originally from Port Alberni

Port Alberni sends large contingent of athletes to Special Olympics Winter Games

Veteran curler Simone Myers dreams of gold in her seventh provincials

Steelhead LNG stops work on Kwispaa LNG project near Bamfield

Huu-ay-aht First Nations ‘deeply disappointed; Steelhead says funding is the problem

West coast group campaigns for seal, sea lion harvest

‘Salmon are going the way of the buffalo unless we do something’

Mermen calendar targets ‘toxic masculinity,’ raises big money for charities

Newfoundland and Labrador Beard and Moustache Club gave a cheque for more than $202,000 to Violence Prevention NL

‘Bullet missed me by an inch’: Man recounts friend’s killing at Kamloops hotel

Penticton man witnessed Summerland resident Rex Gill’s murder in Kamloops

B.C. BUDGET: Income assistance raise still leaves many below poverty line

$50 per month increase included in funding for poverty and homelessness reduction

B.C. BUDGET: Indigenous communities promised billions from gambling

Extended family caregiver pay up 75 per cent to keep kids with relatives

B.C. BUDGET: New benefit increases family tax credits up to 96 per cent

BC Child Opportunity Benefit part of province’s efforts to reduce child poverty

B.C. BUDGET: Carbon tax boosts low-income credits, electric vehicle subsidies

Homeowners can get up to $14,000 for heating, insulation upgrades

B.C. man survives heart attack thanks to Facebook

A Princeton man suffered a heart attack while at an isolated property with no cell service

B.C. man sues Maxime Bernier’s People’s Party over trademark

Satinder Dhillon filed application for trademark same day Maxime Bernier announced the new party

New trial ordered over banning whales, dolphins at Vancouver aquarium

Park board’s appeal reverses previous decision that found it had no right to implement a ban

Most Read