The driver of the truck involved in the fatal Humboldt bus crash last April pleaded guilty to all 29 counts related to it on Tuesday.
Jaskirat Singh Sidhu made a brief appearance in a Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, court and pleaded guilty to 16 counts of dangerous driving causing death, as well as 13 counts of dangerous driving causing bodily harm. There will be no trial.
Sentencing will begin Jan 28. Sidhu faces maximum sentences of 14 years for dangerous driving causing death and 10 years for dangerous driving causing bodily harm.
Sidhu did not speak as he left the court, but his lawyer, Mark Brayford, read a prepared statement to reporters.
“I asked him what his position was,” Brayford said. “And 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.’ Mr. Sidhu advised me, ‘I don’t want to make things any worse. I can’t make things any better, but I certainly won’t want to make them worse by having a trial.'”
Brayford said Sidhu wanted people to know that he was “devastated” and he wanted the families impacted to know “he’s devastated by the grief that he’s caused them.” Brayford added that Sidhu is “overwhelmed by the expressions of sympathy and kindness that some of the families and players have expressed to him, in spite of the fact that grief is entirely his fault.”
On April 6, 2018, the Humboldt Broncos — a junior hockey team of 16-to-21-year-olds — were en route to a playoff game when their bus collided with Sidhu’s truck, which was carrying peat moss. Sixteen people — including 10 players and the team’s head coach — were killed and another 13 players were injured.
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SOURCE: ESPN, Emily Kaplan