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Truck driver in fatal Humboldt Broncos bus crash to be sentenced

Last Updated Mar 22, 2019 at 6:46 am PDT

Jaskirat Singh Sidhu leaves his sentencing hearing Thursday, January 31, 2019 in Melfort, Sask. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz)
Summary

One of the final chapters in the Humboldt Broncos bus crash tragedy will be written on Friday

The truck driver who pleaded guilty to 29 dangerous driving counts will be sentenced in a Saskatchewan courtroom

Sidhu admitted to blowing through a stop sign and colliding with the team's bus, killing 16 and injuring 13

MELFORT, Sask. — A truck driver who caused the deadly Humboldt Broncos crash is to be sentenced in a Saskatchewan courtroom on Friday.

Jaskirat Singh Sidhu of Calgary pleaded guilty earlier this year to 29 counts of dangerous driving.

Sidhu barrelled through a stop sign and into the path of the junior hockey team’s bus at a rural Saskatchewan intersection last April, killing 16 people and injuring 13 others.

RELATED: Trucker who caused Broncos crash likely to be deported after sentence: lawyer

Some victims’ families are calling for that 10-year maximum the Crown is asking for, others want mercy. Jaskirat Singh Sidhu’s lawyers have asked for between one-and-a-half and four years in prison.

For others, like former NHLer Chris Joseph, whose son Jaxon was killed in last April’s tragedy, it doesn’t seem to matter.

“I’m already set in my mind that I’m going to be disappointed,” Joseph said. “I don’t know if there’s any number that would make me happy, but I feel like I’m going to come back disappointed.”

Sidhu’s lawyers have said he is remorseful and is likely to face deportation to his home country of India after he serves any time.

A sentencing hearing in January heard that Sidhu was going between 86 and 96 km/h when he passed four signs warning him about the upcoming intersection before he came up to an oversized stop sign with a flashing light.

WATCH: Humboldt truck driver to be sentenced

 

Crown prosecutor Thomas Healey said Sidhu should have seen the busy highway in front of him or a car that was stopped across the road and waiting for the Broncos bus to pass.

He described the truck as a rocket that barrelled into the intersection, which gave the bus driver no time to avoid the crash.

Defence lawyer Mark Brayford said Sidhu was hired by a small Calgary trucking company three weeks earlier. He spent two weeks with another trucker before heading out on his own for his first time.

Brayford suggested Sidhu was distracted by a flapping tarp on the back of his load of peat moss.