A memorial for the 2018 crash where 16 people died and 13 injured when a truck collided with the Humboldt Broncos hockey team bus, is shown at the crash site on Wednesday, January 30, 2019 in Tisdale, Sask. Saskatchewan’s coroner’s service has released its report into the Humboldt Broncos bus crash and it calls for tougher enforcement of trucking rules and mandatory seatbelts on highway buses. (The Canadian Press/Ryan Remiorz)

‘Much, much slower:’ Coroner promises change after Humboldt mix-up

Saskatchewan’s chief coroner releases report into April 2018 crash.

Saskatchewan’s chief coroner says a public mix-up in identifying two hockey players involved in the deadly Humboldt Broncos bus crash means, in the future, his office will be more careful in releasing names.

“Things will be much, much slower,” Clive Weighill said Monday, as he released his report into the April 2018 crash.

READ MORE: Forgiveness can help healing process in cases like Humboldt tragedy: experts

“We will not identify anybody and put anything out until we are 100 per cent positive.”

One of the six recommendations in Weighill’s report further calls on the Saskatchewan Health Authority to review how dead as well as injured patients are identified in such situations.

The mix-up involved 18-year-old players Xavier LaBelle, originally thought to be killed in the crash, and Parker Tobin, who was thought to be in hospital.

LaBelle’s family had voiced uncertainty in identifying a body they were told was his and dental records had been ordered when he woke up in hospital saying he wasn’t Tobin.

Weighill said the coroner’s office was relying on information provided by hospitals about who the surviving players were and was working through a process of elimination with families to identify the dead.

But the identification process was not fully complete by the time a public memorial was held in Humboldt two days after crash.

“There was a lot of public pressure,” Weighill said. ”There was media pressure, there was social media pressure.

“I can say probably from now on everybody that would come in is going to be a Jane Doe or a John Doe until we have a positive (identity) on each specific person.”

A spokesman from the Saskatchewan Health Authority said the agency accepts the coroner’s recommendation.

“We apologize to all those affected and we will endeavour to do our best to ensure this never happens again,” said spokesman Doug Dahl.

Sixteen people killed last April when a transport truck barrelled through a stop sign at a rural crossroads north of Tisdale and into the path of the junior hockey team’s bus. Thirteen others on the bus were injured.

While truck driver Jaskirat Singh Sidhu has pleaded guilty to dangerous driving and is awaiting sentencing, the coroner’s report officially lists the deaths as accidental.

Weighill also recommended his office develop a mass casualty plan. He said one would be in place by March.

Remaining recommendations were aimed at other government agencies.

The report said the Saskatchewan Ministry of Highways should look at its policy on signs at the intersection where the crash occurred and Saskatchewan Government Insurance should implement mandatory truck driver training.

“A tragedy this size, it can’t just be one thing that went wrong,” said Scott Thomas, whose son Evan was killed.

Thomas said the coroner’s findings are justification for some of the changes that he and other families have been calling for.

He appreciated the recommendations directed to Transport Canada for mandatory seatbelts on highway buses and improving national safety codes for truck driver training and electronic logging.

In December, the Saskatchewan government announced it will make training mandatory for semi-truck drivers starting in March. Drivers seeking a Class 1 commercial licence will have to undergo at least 121 1/2 hours of training.

Stephanie Taylor, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

City of White Rock responds to Lady Alexandra court petition

City says it did not breach ‘obligation of procedural fairness’

VIDEO: 5X Festival takes over Surrey’s Central City plaza

Second annual event draws thousands of people throughout the day

City shifts proposed transit station to King George after cancellation of LRT

Council to consider Newton Town Centre plan in fall

VIDEO: Plane makes forced landing on Highway 17 in Surrey

Police say no one was injured and no damage to aircraft or vehicles

Nearly 200 motorcycles take off from Cloverdale for Brenden’s Ride

Annual fundraiser supports programs that empower people with disabilities

10 facts about Father’s Day

Did you know that the special day for dads was first celebrated in 1910?

Bombers down B.C. Lions 33-23 in season opener

Former Lion Andrew Harris leads Winnipeg with 148 rushing yards

Northern B.C. family remembers murdered Indigenous woman with memorial walk

Still no closure for Ramona Wilson’s family 25 years later

Pride flag taken down by Township of Langley

Woman said she was told it was removed from her front yard because of a complaint

B.C. university to offer mentorship program for former youth in care

Students using the provincial tuition waiver program will soon be able to form a community at KPU

Cyclists competing in one of the toughest bike races on the planet pass through Fernie

Divide riders looking strong as they finish first leg of 4160 km race

You might not know these B.C. records are public

Hired a lawyer to file a civil claim? Those are published online

B.C. bus driver loses case to get job back after texting while driving full bus

An arbitator ruled that Tim Wesman’s phone usage was a “a reckless disregard for public safety”

Revamped B.C. Lions set to battle veteran Winnipeg Blue Bombers

The Lions’ first test of the season will be a big one

Most Read

l -->