By Carter Brooks
Photos courtesy of the Humboldt Broncos and Facebook
Saskatchewan RCMP have arrested the driver of the semi truck responsible for the horrific accident on April 6th, 2018 on Highway 35, 30 kilometres north of Tisdale, SK.
An investigation lasting exactly three months came to a conclusion Friday afternoon as police and other members of Saskatchewan’s RCMP provided in depth details surrounding the crash heard around the world. It took approximately 100 investigators, 6,000 photographs, 3D imaging technology, a re-created crash the major crimes unit and the collision reconstruction team to figure out the accurate details behind the accident. Although those details have been sorted through, they will only be made available to the Crown Prosecutor in court.
RCMP announced that 29-year-old Jaskirat Singh Sidhu was arrested Friday morning at his Calgary residence without incident. Sidhu is facing 16 counts of Dangerous Operation of a Motor Vehicle Causing Death (carrying an average jail sentence of 14 years) and 13 counts of Dangerous Operation of a Motor Vehicle Causing Bodily Injury (carrying an average jail sentence of 10 years). He will appear in court in Saskatchewan next week.
En route to Nipawin for a Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League game in early April, the Humboldt Broncos’ team bus was carrying 29 passengers while travelling northbound on Highway 35 – a roadway with a rural speed limit of 100 kilometres-per-hour when it came in contact with a semi-trailer.
At approximately 5:00 P.M. the bus was struck by a semi-trailer travelling westbound on Highway 335 – a section of roadway highlighted by red flashing warning indicators and a stop sign – ripping the shell of the bus from the chassis, leaving the vehicle almost unrecognizable. 16 perished in the wreck, while the remaining 13 suffered injuries – some of which life threatening, and others very serious.
Following the deadly crash, the trucking company involved in the crash – Adesh Deol Trucking Ltd. – had it’s only other truck removed from the road by Transport Alberta – stopping business for owner Sukhmander Singh and his 29-year-old partner Jaskirat Singh Sidhu. Sidhu, who had only been working for Singh for just one month prior to the accident, was living in Calgary. Sidhu had received two weeks of training from Singh prior to the wreck. He was uninjured in the crash and was offered counselling following the wreck.
The Humboldt Broncos are a part of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League (SJHL) and held a record of 33-19-3-3 in the 2017-18 season. Sheldon Brookbank highlights a list of six Broncos alumni who went on to play in the NHL. The Broncos announced earlier this spring that they will indeed field a team for the 2018-19 SJHL season.
The lone Manitoban on the team, Matthieu Gomercic – a former Winnipeg Minor hockey player with the St. Vital Vics and a Steinbach Pistons alumni – survived the crash. The remainder of the team was made up of 15-20 year olds from Alberta and Saskatchewan.
A Go Fund Me campaign was launched shortly after the crash, prompting nearly 142,000 donors worldwide to raise over $15 million to be divided up within the Humboldt Broncos organization, with funds going to the families of players both left dead and alive by the accident on April 6th.