The driver of a semi-truck that collided with the Humboldt Broncos junior hockey team’s bus last April, which claimed 16 lives and injured more, has pleaded guilty to all charges laid against him.
Driver Jaskirat Singh Sidhu pleaded guilty to 29 charges in total, 16 counts of dangerous driving causing death and 13 counts of dangerous driving causing bodily harm.
“His position to me was, ‘I just want to plead guilty,'” said Sidhua’s lawyer Mark Brayford outside the steps of Saskatchewan provincial court in Melfort.
“Mr. Sidhu advised me, ‘I don’t want to make things any worse.'”
“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 that their grief is entirely his fault.”
On April 6, 2018, Sidhu’s truck crashed into the Humboldt Broncos team bus as the junior hockey team was travelling to a playoff game in Saskatchewan. In total, 16 people died in the collision and 13 were injured.
According to CBC, the crash occurred at the intersection of two major highways. Since the accident, the Saskatchewan government has promised to install rumble strips, lights, signs, and road markers in the area.
Acting Judge Inez Cardinal has said that sentencing will begin on January 28th in Melfort.
The process is expected to take three to five days due to the number of victim impact statements that are scheduled to be heard.
CBC says that security screenings will be in place for everyone entering the building.
The maximum punishment for each individual count of dangerous driving causing death is 14 years, and the sentence for each count of dangerous driving causing injury is 10 years.
After the accident, support for the team poured in from around the globe. A GoFundMe campaign was launched for the broncos and raised over $15 million, which was divided among the victims of the team.
On the island, Victorians grieved with the nation and donned their jerseys for ‘National Jersey Day’, a movement started by a group of hockey moms in B.C., urging people to show their support for the small Saskatchewan town.