January 8, 2019 / 10:33 PM / 3 months ago

Driver in Humboldt crash pleads guilty to 29 counts

The driver of the truck that hit the bus carrying the Humboldt Broncos hockey team last April, killing 10 players and six others, pleaded guilty to 29 charges on Tuesday.

FILE PHOTO: Flowers lie at centre ice as people gather for a vigil at the Elgar Petersen Arena, home of the Humboldt Broncos, to honour the victims of a fatal bus accident in Humboldt, Saskatchewan, Canada April 8, 2018. Jonathan Hayward/Pool via REUTERS

The driver, Jaskirat Singh Sidhu, entered his plea to 16 counts of dangerous driving causing death and 13 counts of dangerous driving causing bodily harm in a Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, courtroom.

He is scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 28 and faces up to 24 years in prison. His plea cancels his trial.

The crash occurred April 6, 2018, when the Humboldt Broncos were traveling to a playoff game. In addition to the 16 members of the team entourage who were killed, 13 players were injured. The Broncos are a junior hockey team of players ages 16 to 21.

Sidhu, 29, was arrested three months later at his home in Calgary.

His lawyer, Mark Brayford, spoke on his behalf as he left the courtroom. Brayford said Sidhu wanted survivors and the families of those who died to know “he’s devastated by the grief that he’s caused them.”

In a statement released Tuesday, the Broncos thanked Sidhu “for taking responsibility for his actions.”

“Mr. Sidhu’s guilty pleas are a positive step in the healing process for the survivors, grieving families, the team and our community,” Broncos president Jamie Brockman said. “I commend Mr. Sidhu for taking responsibility for his actions and sparing the survivors and the families the anguish and turmoil of rehashing this tragedy in court.

“I know Mr. Sidhu has also been deeply affected by this tragedy. His careless actions will haunt him for the rest of his life, and I’m sure it is a relief to move forward.”

—Field Level Media

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