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

Surrey RCMP need help finding missing 41-year-old man

Todd Schneider was last seen at 4:30 p.m. on Feb. 19 in the 13500-block of Crestview Drive

VIDEO: North Delta elementary school closed following stabbing that left cop, woman in serious condition

An off-duty police officer and a woman were injured outside of the school Wednesday afternoon

New West mayor says Surrey won’t be left out in transit 10-year plan

Jonathan Cote one of two speakers at luncheon focusing on transportation, land use planning

UPDATE: Missing Surrey snowshoer found dead on Mt. Seymour

North Shore Rescue resumed its search today after efforts were temporarily halted Tuesday due to snowstorm

70% of Canadians agree with mandatory vaccines for children: poll

The debate for pro and anti vaccinations has heated up after a measles outbreak in Vancouver

5 to start your day

Two people are in critical condition after stabbing, searchers recover body of missing snowshoer and more

‘A little baloney’ in PM’s claim about solicitor-client privilege on SNC-Lavalin

The Conservatives and NDP want Trudeau to waive that privilege so Wilson-Raybould can offer her side of the story

Proposed edible pot rules are wasteful, would leave products tasteless: critics

When Canada legalized weed last fall, it only allowed fresh or dried bud, oil, plants and seeds

Samsung folding phone is different – but also almost $2,000

But most analysts see a limited market for foldable-screen phones

Alcohol policies fizzle for Canadian governments as harms overflow: reports

About 80 per cent of Canadians drink, and most enjoy a drink or two

Ontario man accused of killing 11-year-old daughter dies in hospital, police say

Roopesh Rajkumar had been hospitalized with what police described as a self-inflicted gunshot wound

Most Read

l -->