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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Bachrach rejects calls for police action against demonstrators

Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP says only way out of crisis is “true nation-to-nation” talks

Nuxalk Nation celebrates first carpentry graduates

11 students graduated from the community’s first carpentry program

Bella Coola leave their mark on All Native Basketball Tournament as they reach Intermediate final

Nuxalk Braves bring home a strong second place finish; three individual awards for Marlon Edgar-Apps

All Native Basketball: Finals matchups start to take shape as title games approach

Two Prince Rupert sides in contention, while two dynasties are on the brink

CN blockade taken down as federal, provincial representatives agree to meet with hereditary chiefs

CN blockade taken down as federal, provincial representatives agree to meet with hereditary chiefs

Pipeline dispute: Tories put no-confidence motion on House of Commons agenda

Conservatives say they have no confidence in the Trudeau government to end the rail blockades

Galchenyuk nets shootout winner as Wild edge Canucks 4-3

Vancouver tied with Calgary for second spot in NHL’s Pacific Division

B.C.’s soda drink tax will help kids lose weight, improve health, says doctor

Dr. Tom Warshawski says studies show sugary drinks contribute to obesity

A&W employees in Ladysmith get all-inclusive vacation for 10 years of service

Kelly Frenchy, Katherine Aleck, and Muriel Jack are headed on all-expenses-paid vacations

B.C. mom’s complaint about ‘R word’ in children’s ministry email sparks review

In 2020, the ‘R’ word shouldn’t be used, Sue Robins says

B.C., federal ministers plead for meeting Wet’suwet’en dissidents

Scott Fraser, Carolyn Bennett says they can be in Smithers Thursday

Province shows no interest in proposed highway between Alberta and B.C.

Province says it will instead focus on expanding the Kicking Horse Canyon to four lanes

First case of COVID-19 in B.C. has fully recovered, health officer says

Three other cases are symptom-free and expected to test negative soon

Budget 2020: Weaver ‘delighted,’ minority B.C. NDP stable

Project spending soars along with B.C.’s capital debt

Most Read