Jaskirat Singh Sidhu, the man behind the wheel of the transport truck involved in the Humboldt Broncos crash, has pleaded guilty.
Sidhu appeared in a Melfort, Saskatchewan courtroom Tuesday morning facing 16 counts of dangerous driving causing death and 13 charges of dangerous driving causing bodily harm.
“His position to me was, ‘I just want to plead guilty. I don’t want you to plea bargain. I don’t want a trial,'” said Sidhu’s lawyer, Mark Brayford.
“Mr. Sidhu advised me: ‘I don’t want to make things any worse. I can’t make things any better, but I certainly don’t want to make them worse by having a trial.'”
“He wanted the families to know that he’s devastated by the grief that he’s caused them,” Brayford said.
“And he’s overwhelmed by the expressions of sympathy and kindness that some of the families and players have expressed to him in spite of the fact their grief is entirely his fault.”
Sentencing is set to take place beginning Jan. 28th. The maximum penalty for dangerous driving causing death is 14 years. It’s 10 years for dangerous driving causing bodily harm.
Last April, the Broncos hockey team was on its way to a playoff game in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League when their bus and Sidhu’s rig collided not far from Tisdale, Sask.
The bus was travelling north on Highway 35 and the semi was westbound on Highway 335, which has a stop sign.
A safety review of the area determined that sight lines are a safety concern due to a stand of trees that obstructs the driver’s view.
The report recommended the removal of the trees, rumble strips, larger signs and painting “Stop” and “Stop Ahead” on the road.
Since 1990, six collisions had taken place at the same intersection and another 14 happened on roads nearby.
The crash resulted in the death of 16 members of the team, with another 13 members sustaining injuries.
With Files from the Canadian Press.