Truck driver charged in Humboldt bus crash that killed 16

The driver of a transport truck faces 29 criminal charges in a fatal collision that killed 16 people, including 10 players, with the Humboldt Broncos junior hockey team.

Thirteen other players were injured.

RCMP say Jaskirat Singh Sidhu, 29, is accused of dangerous driving causing death as well as causing bodily injury.

He was arrested Friday morning and was being held in custody pending a court appearance in Saskatchewan next week.

“Mr. Sidhu was arrested without incident at his Calgary residence,” RCMP Assistant Commissioner Curtis Zablocki told a news conference Friday in Regina.

Sidhu was charged exactly three months after the crash at a rural Saskatchewan intersection in the late afternoon of April 6.

The Broncos were on their way to a playoff game in Nipawin, Sask., when their bus and a semi-trailer carrying peat moss collided.

The truck driver was not hurt. He was taken into custody after the crash, but was released the same night.

RCMP said they will not release any details of the investigation or what they believe happened. The only thing the Mounties have said to this point is that the truck was in the intersection when the collision occurred.

RCMP Supt. Derek Williams said their probe was exhaustive and included 60 core investigators combing through records, interviewing five dozen witnesses and using 3D technology to determine what happened.

“In order to lay these charges, we require evidence the motor vehicle was being operated in a manner that is dangerous to the public,” said Williams.

“We’ve looked at every aspect of the collision, including speed of the vehicles, point of impact, position of the vehicles, impairment, road and weather conditions and witness evidence.

“Every piece of information was carefully examined.”

Each of the 16 counts of dangerous driving causing death carries a maximum penalty of 14 years in prison. The 13 counts of dangerous driving causing bodily harm could garner 10 years each.

Tom Straschnitzki, whose son Ryan was paralyzed from the chest down, said he was relieved charges were laid.

“It’s finally come to charges being laid, so we are very happy about that because we don’t want that to be ignored at all,” Straschnitzki told The Canadian Press.

“It should put a little closure to the first step and the second step is … let’s see what the courts do and find out what exactly happened.

“I think that’s what people want to know. What exactly happened? How it did happen and why it happened.”

Straschnitzki said he and his wife, Michelle, hadn’t thought much about charges in the three months since the crash.

“We were just too focused on Ryan and just had the faith in the RCMP that they did a lot of hard work to get it done. I guess we’ll just wait and see in the courts.”

Sukhmander Singh, owner of the Calgary-based trucking company that employed Sidhu, said in April that the driver was going to the doctor and receiving counselling.

Singh said he was basically out of business after the crash because Alberta Transportation ordered his company, Adesh Deol Trucking Ltd., to keep its only other truck off the road.

In April, police said they had recovered driver log books along with engine control modules that had been sent to California for further analysis.

The tragedy sparked an outpouring of emotion across Canada with offers of money and other support for the victims and families involved. A GoFundMe campaign raised just over $15 million for the survivors and the families of those who died.

The Humboldt Broncos released a statement Friday saying the organization has faith in the justice system and will be watching as the court process unfolds.

“Our primary focus continues to be supporting the survivors, families and others that were directly impacted by the tragedy on April 6th,” the team said. “We will have no further comment on the investigation or the resulting charges until the process has concluded.”

The CFL and the Saskatchewan Roughriders have supported the community in the wake of the crash with the team holding a practice in Humboldt during training camp and honouring the survivors, the families of the victims and first responder in a game earlier this month while also producing a line of #HumboldtStrong merchandise with all proceeds going to the families.

– CP

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41 Comments on Truck driver charged in Humboldt bus crash that killed 16

  1. Si1ver Fox // July 6, 2018 at 1:57 pm //

    About damn time!!!!

  2. They had to make sure it was the right call and would stick…

  3. That’s exactly what I was thinking Glenn. Make sure all your ducks are in a row so some sharp lawyer can’t get the charges dismissed.

  4. Gainer1 // July 6, 2018 at 2:25 pm //

    FOOTBALL site, no need to stir people up.

  5. Doug Mc Clintock // July 6, 2018 at 2:27 pm //

    I would only hope that accidents like this WILL never again if at all possible especially on country roads. More has to be done even with an amber light on the stop sign is not enough or speed bumps. A vocal sign would be a starter ! But human error is hard to beat.

  6. Sad situation. While the driver must be held responsible; we must not treat him like a criminal or a horrible person. Unfortunately this was a terrible mistake that could probably happen to anyone.

    • Huff's Neighbor // July 6, 2018 at 3:32 pm //

      Wrong as usual. It was poor decisions, bad driving and really, really bad timing for the lads on the bus as he blew through a 5ft stop sign and smoke them broadside. The aftermath will linger for ever in the minds of first responders and all others close to the tragedy. The driver is culpable, maybe not criminal, but definitely to be held accountable.

      • Did I not say he should be held accountable??
        You approach my comments with such zeal to prove me wrong, you don’t read and take time to comprehend what I say. Makes you foolish

        • Huff's Neighbor // July 6, 2018 at 4:38 pm //

          No fool, read your post, you said responsible. Two different words, with very different meanings, just in case you didn’t know.

      • Bombs Away! // July 6, 2018 at 4:42 pm //

        As sad as the situation was and still is one has to wonder why some come out with statements that are totally wrong . After the accident I saw pictures of the bus and the truck and wondered why the truck’s front end had not sustained heavy damage. Because as I found out the truck was in the intersection (per RCMP) and was hit but the bus. Then you say he might not be criminally responsible. Don’t you read??? He was charged with 39 separate charges!!!. It would have been much better for you to be quiet like most have been than to make crap up to show your indignation.

        • Huff's Neighbor // July 6, 2018 at 4:55 pm //

          They are not criminal charges. End of story. The line your using doesn’t hold water. No we have not all done what you have. I have had one accident in many years of driving and I was t-boned when someone ran a stop sign. So saying we have all, and so on, is just plain weak.

          • Pennyrocker // July 6, 2018 at 6:26 pm //

            If you looked at the photos of the truck and where the bus hit the trailer. What you will find is the bus hit the trailer just before the tires of the trailer. The biggest damage came from the second trailer being whipped around.

          • BC Dave // July 6, 2018 at 8:45 pm //

            Google it if you don’t believe me. You don’t even know simple English (your using instead of the correct you’re using) so how much credibility do you have when it comes to LAW ??? LOL

            dangerous driving causing death is a charge under the CRIMINAL CODE of CANADA, not the highway traffic act.

          • Huff's Neighbor // July 7, 2018 at 10:41 am //

            I stand corrected. Criminal charges.

    • I’ve rarely agreed with your point of view and comments but you’re right in this instance.

      • fannotacoach // July 6, 2018 at 4:42 pm //

        To my surprise I too agree. How many of you posters have NEVER driven when you might have been too tired, had maybe one too many or trusted your superior ability to manage a stormy nights drive. Looking back especially on my youth I am so grateful to have not only survived but not to have taken anyone out. This man is never going to be the same again. He will carry this forever. No excuses for him but at the same time he is paying the price regardless of legal outcomes.

    • 3rd & 1 // July 6, 2018 at 5:12 pm //

      Also, who knows if this truck driver has all the right training and the proper ticket to be driving the rig he was. There is speculation that he never stopped for the stop sign. No information was released by the RCMP. So wait and see if that’s why there is criminal charges

  7. This poor driver will also be, and I’m sure has been living with this also. Poor judgement, bad decisions we’ve all made them but just TRY an put yourself in the driver’s shoes. Nobody gets out of this terrible accident unaffected…period.

    • Huff's Neighbor // July 6, 2018 at 4:43 pm //

      I will not have any sympathy for the driver. The poor driver walk away uninjured.

      • You should. This will stay with him forever. If you think he wanted to end the lives of those kids that day and injure the others as well as cause unimaginable grief for the families, you’re twisted. It was an accident. Yes he may have been at fault, but there was no criminal intent. My heart goes out to the families affected, but I do have sympathy for the driver being charged.

  8. Huffs neighbour couldn’t possibly have lived his life without screwing up or we would have heard of him by now.

    If the driver was texting, drunk or on drugs etc, then my sympathies go way down. But then again, I’m guilty of having done two of those offences in my lifetime1 too.

    Tragic for everyone. Two vehicles driving at 60mph would literally have a one or two second window to collide.

    Just so tragic

    • Huff's Neighbor // July 6, 2018 at 4:45 pm //

      My screw ups have never taken a life or even injured someone. They lies the rub.

      • Stampeding // July 6, 2018 at 4:48 pm //

        And thank God for that
        But that doesn’t mean it couldn’t have, or won’t in the future

  9. A cement truck driver, with a history of reckless driving, speeds down the highway, passing people in the shoulder. Tries to hide a vodka bottle at the scene. Goes to trial and denies responsibility; making lame excuses for rear ending a family of 5, killing them all. He serves approx 2 years.
    If that’s the standard I can’t see this guy facing much, if any time.

  10. Rider Fan // July 6, 2018 at 4:40 pm //

    This is in the hands of the court. Not up to us They are to be impartial and it will get dealt with In my opinion this is not a forum to debate this.

  11. If he is at fault, he should be held accountable, but he didn’t want to end those young lives and affect the 100s of others that he did. This would weigh heavily on him. Some compassion for the driver would be in order I should think. There was no criminal intent here. If it were one of our family members driving that truck, we wouldn’t be so quick to condemn them.

  12. Paul Garner // July 6, 2018 at 5:57 pm //

    To Silver Fox and his comment “It’s about damm time”. What was the rush Silver. What the hell was the rush. Is it not better to have the RCMP take the best possible case to court. Sixty Officers worked very hard to try their best to get it right. Listen to the extent that the RCMP went – ” In April, police said they had recovered driver log books along with engine control modules that had been sent to California for further analysis”. By complaining about they’re not rushing fast enough the case in court would have been missing key elements of evidence that may have resulted in the Crown not being able to prove their case. And besides I fail to see any benefit whatsoever in rushing to lay charges that probably would be weaker in court. The RCMP are to be commended for an outstanding job, that did take time, that was done by professionals who know what evidence is needed in court. Rushing had no bearing on their investigation.

    • Absolutely agree Paul. Many items to investigate in relation to this tragedy. There are a slew of rules and regulations set out for commercial operators and carriers that must be adhered to.

      The investigation would have included an in depth audit to ensure the driver was legal to operate the vehicle within hours of service regulations among other things. Fatigue, distracted driving etc, all to determine why or how the stop sign was missed.

  13. Tinhead296 // July 6, 2018 at 6:58 pm //

    Well said Paul. As tragic as this whole incident was, The RCMP must leave no stone unturned and with so much evidence to go through, this whole process takes a lot of time. The crown must have all proof beyond a reasonable doubt.3

  14. Huffs dentist // July 6, 2018 at 8:01 pm //

    Not surprised red says what he says. What a goof

  15. I agree. This has got to be a nightmare for him. Just more tragedy if you ask me. This man might have a family and children of his own. (Total speculation) and hes facing about 350 yrs in prison? yes he likely gets off, but have a heart, a CANADIAN heart, and show some compassion. Even a surviving victim encouraged people not to condemn him. Thats Saskatchewan/Canadian class.

    • ARSE 51 and ManyHandles MUST be BANNED // July 7, 2018 at 11:48 am //

      If he does get convicted on all, his sentence will most likely be served concurrently but it still does not lessen your point Green.

  16. If there is evidence he was under any illegal substance including alcohol while driving, I retract all other comments from me on this thread. Throw him in the slammer.

  17. There are a lot of these “operators” out there now. We contracted one to take one of our trailers to Boston last year. They opened a trap in the floor of the cab and dumped a bucket of feces and piss while rolling on a Mass. bridge, it splashed a police officer on a motorcycle who was directly behind the truck in its blind sight. The troopers called a Biological decontamination team. Arrested the two drivers, impounded our trailer along with their tractor and sent our company a fine of $16 000.00

    These guys are all over Canadian Roads giving truckers and trucking companies a bad name.

  18. This is definitely a sad ending for both sides. The Iives lost and one man’s life changed forever. Although the families feel justice have been served and it should be, but to make the driver a criminal feels wrong, There are countless accidents that happen on a daily basis, these things sometimes are really not in someone’s control. The individual thought to go to work just like any other never expected his life will change in a instance. I don’t think he intended to purposely hit those people it was a very big mistake, poor judgment etc which can happen to anyone of us. But yes to lose that many lives is a tragedy. I feel people should not call him a criminal, let the man go through the process he is meant to go through. At the end of day he is paying for his mistake. We have to remember anyone that’s going about their day normally and has something like this happen is tough for both parties involved and we should learn to respect both sides. If we weren’t there or seen what happened I believe it’s very hard to pass judgement. I also agree if he is under any kind of influence or drugs then yes he deserves vile comments etc .otherwise it was a very grave mistake that affected both sides, parties and all of their families forever.

  19. Another thing comes to mind if the truck driver was already in intersection as stated so did he not see any other vehicle approaching, or he didn’t see stop sign.
    Then for the other side did that bus see the truck already in intersection and was it slowing down was precaution being taken on that side. These common intersection problems we see in the city although we put have emphasis on the other party both sides need to take precautions in such scenarios to avoid collisions. It’s not always about right of way but being alert in any circumstance to prevent such incidents.

  20. Pennyrocker // July 7, 2018 at 11:25 am //

    What some don’t know is how someone gets involved in trucking. Do they have proper training to begin with. Some receive training through a driver training school of about 20 hours while other learn from a friend or employer. The work is basically learn as you drive no formal education really.

    What I see is an inexperienced driver hualing about 100 thousand pound load across an intersection. This will be slow movement if the driver did stop at the sign and his judgement would be off in distance as to on coming traffic. Being caught off guard could have also been a factor.

    7What about the alertness of the bus driver. After viewing the photos the bus really hit the truck at a hi speed enough to bend the frame and blow the tires off the trailer. I have seen similar situations where a driver leaves a stop sign and gets hit by a slow moving train. Lucky no one was killed.

    The other point is if the corner was a blind corner then why would you not have a four way stop on the highway at that junction.

  21. ARSE 51 and ManyHandles MUST be BANNED // July 7, 2018 at 11:49 am //

    Those trees gotta go !!!!!!

  22. Evil Empire // July 7, 2018 at 4:23 pm //

    I’m not seeing a correlation between this story, and the CFL. What goes on with this site ?

    Oh wait… It happened in SK. So, put up a pic of a Rider’s Humbolt Strong cleats, because you know Rider Fan will click on it. That’s lame AF. This quite literally has ZERO to do with the CFL.

    Meanwhile the Esks play last year’s GC champs In Toronto, today. But, there’s not a single story, or thread about it. Ever heard of the word P-R-I-O-R-I-T-I-E-S ?

    I get that you’re pretty much the National Enquirer of the CFL world. But, can you actually cover the WHOLE league ? Post all the BS stories you want concerning SK, Carter, or Manziel. But, maybe give more of a priority to actual relevant CFL stories first. Shouldn’t that be what this site is about ?

    The title 3downnation is a direct reference to the CFL. Is it too much to ask that you actually have some kind of equal coverage of the WHOLE CFL ? There are nine teams in this league. Four of them play today. There is a grand total of 2 stories on the front page linked to any of those teams. One about the return of Nichols ( Wpg ) at the very bottom of the front page. And the marquee story ( Wpg ). But, for some reason that story starts out with, and is equally about the Tabbies.

    Four teams… And a whole 1.5 stories between the four, on page one. With ZERO stories about three of those teams.

    Leave stuff like this to a more appropriate site. Yeah, clicked on the thread too. But only to register my objection to this garbage.

    • ARSE 51 and ManyHandles MUST be BANNED // July 7, 2018 at 5:14 pm //

      Are you suggesting this is not an important story that affected a LOT of people? Donations came in from around the WORLD !!! You saw the title of the story, anyone with more than 51 brain cells can tell it is a hockey story. You insist that this site should have nothing but CFL content but here you are, commenting away. Thanks for the laugh.

  23. When people like Keri comment, oblivious to the facts, it makes my blood boil. Decades ago, for a brief period, I drove a truck for a living.
    When you are hauling thousands of pounds, you need to take every precaution. Yet, many drivers do “rolling stops” which is a misnomer…either you are rolling, OR stopped. It is a lazy practice, so PLEASE don’t blame the trees. I know that intersection. It has a stop sign, AND A RED FLASHING LIGHT, to fully address the driver. This has nothing to do with fatigue, or distraction…if either were the case, he would have been “flying” through the intersection, past the flashing light at full speed, because he wouldn’t have noticed the intersection….sign or no sign. The evidence doesn’t show that…it shows that he slowed down, meaning he saw the light and the sign…but ignored both.
    Will he be tormented for the rest of his life…sure…should we feel sorry for him, too? WHY?
    He made a choice! A VERY BAD CHOICE! A LAZY CHOICE.
    If he was a trained, defensive driver, whose vision was obstructed by trees, the STOP WAS MANDATORY…the RED FLASHING light was there to emphasize the danger
    Put in perspective, what if he was driving, knowing that his brakes didn’t work properly? Same charge: criminal N E G L I G E N C E !!! In either case the driver believed that he knew best, that rules don’t matter, or that rules/regulation are for other people.
    Definition of accident: “an event that happens by chance or that is without apparent or deliberate cause.” By definition THIS WAS NOT AN ACCIDENT. The truck driver deliberately chose to ignore traffic laws, even if he didn’t deliberately want to cause an accident. THIS WAS A CONSCIOUS CHOICE. It matters not whether he thought he could ignore the sign/flashing light because there was little chance that a vehicle would be coming on a not-heavily traveled highway.
    Even if he thought he was “smarter” than this “stupid light/sign in the middle of nowhere”…he needed to allow himself enough time to stop his rig if/when cross-traffic appeared. So, save your sorrow for the real victims, not for the perpetrator’s lazy choice with total disregard for the safety of others, and for the rules of the road.
    For those on here, saying you drove under the influence: that, too, is a CHOICE! A very BAD choice.
    It is not much different than firing a gun at a traffic sign in the city, and killing a person in the house behind the sign, then claiming that you were trying to hit the sign, not the guy in the house. LAME EXCUSE, LAME ARGUMENT… and the price you pay will NEVER compensate the victims. And, for sure, YOU ARE NOT A VICTIM TOO!

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