Jaskirat Singh Sidhu, the man driving the transport truck that crashed into the bus holding the Humboldt Broncos junior hockey team, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to all charges related to the accident.
The crash, which happened on April 6 in Saskatchewan, Canada, killed 16 people and injured 13 others. Many of the victims were between 16 and 21 years old and players on the hockey team. Sidhu, 29, is facing 16 charges of dangerous driving causing death and 13 charges of dangerous driving causing bodily harm.
“I don’t want a trial”
After the hearing, Sidhu’s lawyer Mark Brayford spoke on behalf of his client. He discussed Sidhu’s desire to move forward as quickly as possible, as not to cause more pain for the families of those who died in the crash. Via the Canadian Press:
“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 don’t want to make them worse by having a trial.’”
Brayford also expressed Sidhu’s deep sorrow over everything he caused.
“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.”
New safety measures
According to the Canadian Press, the crash caused the Saskatchewan government to do a review to improve safety at the intersection where the crash happened.
Sidhu’s rig collided with the bus at an intersection which had a stop sign posted from Sidhu’s direction. However, safety review found that a crop of trees on private property affected sight lines in the directions that Sidhu and the bus were traveling. The report of the review suggested having the trees removed and posting more and larger stop signs to warn drivers of the intersection earlier.
The Canadian Press reported that there had been at least six collisions at that intersection between 1990 and 2017, and one that happened in 1997 resulted in the deaths of six people.