Driver convicted in deadly 2018 hockey team bus crash hopes to stay in Canada

June 23, 2022

Chuck Robinson

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The former truck driver who caused the deadly hockey team bus crash in April 2018 in rural Saskatchewan is trying to avoid being deported.

Jaskirat Singh Sidhu was sentenced to eight years in prison for the crash with the bus carrying the Humboldt Broncos junior hockey team. The crash killed 16 people, mostly players, and injured 13 others.

Sidhu’s lawyer told the Canadian Broadcasting Corp., that he hopes to get a chance to argue in federal court against his client being deported back to India once his sentence is served.

Sidhu was a newly married permanent resident at the time of the bus crash. He also was new to truck driving.

Michael Greene, Sidhu’s lawyer, has filed an argument with the federal court and expects written arguments from the Department of Justice by the end of the month, he told CBC. He will then have a chance to respond by July 22. Then a federal court judge will decide if the case will be argued in open court, the attorney told CBC.

Understandably, officers recommending deportation were focused on the horrific casualties in the hockey team bus crash, Greene said, but that was addressed with the prison sentence.

“This exercise is not to mete out punishment, and that’s what they’re doing. They’re meting out punishment … further punishment,” Greene said. “He already got the highest sentence ever for this kind of an offense. Now they’re wanting to double down with permanent exile.”

Since the tragic hockey team bus crash, mandatory entry-level training for new commercial drivers have been instituted in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan. Ontario was the first jurisdiction in North America to introduce mandatory entry-level training. That policy went into effect July 1, 2017.

An entry-level driving training requirement went into effect in the United States in February 2022. LL

Chuck Robinson formerly was senior copy editor for a weekly trade publication serving the fresh produce industry. He has served trade publications, horticultural journals and community newspapers for 25 years.