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

Kaslo bus fueled by vegetable oil to begin service next month

Mountain Man Mike’s will run routes to Vancouver and eventually Edmonton

KAST receives $15,000 for inclusive programs at Nelson Tech Club

‘These programs will be a perfect introduction to using technology’

Nelson to send two musicians to provincial Festival of The Arts

Lucas Alexander and Nico Bucher will compete in Chilliwack later this month

Police investigating felling of old cedars at Cottonwood Lake

One of the cedars was 300 to 450 years old

UPDATE: B.C. pilot killed in Honduras plane crash

The crash happened in the Roatan Islands area, according to officials

Raptors beat Bucks 118-112 in 2OT thriller

Leonard has 36 points as Toronto cuts Milwaukee’s series lead to 2-1

‘Teams that win are tight’: B.C. Lions search for chemistry at training camp

The Lions added more than 50 new faces over the off-season, from coaching staff to key players

Rescue crews suspend search for Okanagan kayaker missing for three days

71-year-old Zygmunt Janiewicz was reported missing Friday

B.C. VIEWS: Reality of our plastic recycling routine exposed

Turns out dear old China wasn’t doing such a great job

Carbon dioxide at highest levels for over 2.5 million years, expert warns of 100 years of disruption

CO2 levels rising rapidly, now higher than at any point in humanity’s history

B.C. ferry stops to let black bear swim past near Nanaimo

Queen of Oak Bay brakes for wildlife in Nanaimo’s Departure Bay

Mother dead, child in critical condition after carbon monoxide poisoning at Shuswap campground

The woman was found unresponsive insider her tent and the youth was taken via air ambulance to hospital

Canada’s parole officers say correctional system has reached breaking point

About half of Canada’s federal parole officers work inside penitentiaries and correctional institutions

Most Read