By Carter Brooks
Photo courtesy of Kayle Neis
Jaskirat Sidhu appeared before a judge in a Melfort, SK. courtroom Tuesday morning, where he pleaded guilty to all 29 counts of dangerous diving resulting in either injury or death.
The charges stem from the April 6th accident near Tisdale, in which the bus carrying the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League's Humboldt Broncos collided with Sidhu's semi-trailer at the intersection of highways 35 and 335. 16 passengers on the bus lost their lives as a result of the crash, while 13 others were injured, some very seriously.
In July, Sidhu was charged with his 29 counts of dangerous driving, and has been out on a $1,000 bail since. Stipulations of his release included that he must remain within his native Calgary, he may not drive a motorized vehicle, and the immediate and indefinite surrender of his passport.
Sidhu will find himself back in the same Melfort courtroom on January 28th for his sentencing. His 16 charges of Dangerous Driving Causing Death hold a maximum jail sentence of 14 years, whereas his 13 charges of Dangerous Driving Causing Bodily Harm carry maximum sentences of 10 years. Appropriate sentencing may take up to five days, as there are many variables in play in this high magnitude case.
Sukhmander Singh, the owner of the Calgary-based Adesh Deol Trucking company responsible for hiring Sidhu, is also facing eight charges regarding his complete refusal to adhere to provincial and federal safety precautions and protocol.