Driver sentenced to eight years in wreck killing Canadian junior hockey team

March 22, 2019

Chuck Robinson


The semitrailer driver who caused the deadly crash with a bus transporting the Humboldt Broncos junior hockey team in Saskatchewan last April has been sentenced to eight years in prison.

Sixteen people were killed and another 13 were injured in the crash at the intersection of Highway 35, an arterial highway, and Highway 335 in Saskatoon, Canada.

Jaskirat Sidhu, 30, pleaded guilty to all 29 counts against him in January, including 16 counts of dangerous driving causing death and 13 counts of dangerous driving causing harm.

He was sentenced Friday, March 22.

The case has encouraged provincial authorities to move push for a mandated driver training for new commercial drivers.

Saskatchewan has required drivers seeking Class 1 commercial licenses to undergo mandatory training since. March 15.

Training schools in Saskatchewan have received instruction on the new standardized curriculum for standardized, entry-level training, which became mandatory for all new Class 1 and 2 commercial drivers effective March 1. New drivers who pass the training will have a 12-month probationary period.

In Alberta, effective March 1, standardized, entry-level training became mandatory for all new Class 1 and 2 commercial drivers.

Ontario has had mandatory entry-level driver training for commercial truckers since 2017.

According the details in the sentencing decision, Sidhu was driving a tractor-trailer with a pup trailer behind loaded with sphagnum peat moss. He did not slow down as he was approaching stop signs telling him to stop at the highway intersection.

He was traveling 53-59 mph (86-96 kph) when his truck hit the bus.

He had picked up the load of peat moss fertilizer plant, he told the court. He got lost and then stuck. After picking up the load, he noticed tarps were loose. He stopped and adjusted them.

Once moving again, Sidhu reported being too focused on the tarps and trailers behind him and the stop signs not registering with him.

Sidhu is from India. He came to Canada in 2013. In 2017, he took a short driving course, obtained a commercial driving license and was hired by a company. For the first two weeks of his employment, another driver accompanied him when driving. He began driving without a co-driver in his third week.

Sidhu faces the prospect of deportation once his sentence is served.