Sunday , June 20 2021

Pilot in Humboldt accident does not believe he is distracted at the time of the collision with the bus, judicial document says



The semi that crashed on the Humboldt Broncos bus was traveling nearly 100 km / h at the time of impact and the driver was not distracted, according to a court document obtained by CBC News.

"No brand of tire slip due to braking was left by the Semi-Tractor Unit," says a statement of facts agreed by the Crown and the defense in the case of semi-conductor Jaskirat Singh Sidhu.

In Melfort, Sask., Provincial court Tuesday morning, Sidhu pleaded guilty to 16 counts of dangerous driving, causing death and 13 counts of dangerous driving, causing bodily harm. On April 6, 2018, the truck Sidhu drove collided with the tour bus Humboldt Broncos while the team traveled to a playoff game in Nipawin, Sask. Sixteen people died and 13 were injured in the accident.

CBC News obtained the five-page statement, largely based on the RCMP "Forensic Collision Reconstruction Report" after the brief but emotional hearing. It was not filed in court.

Says Sidhu drove to the crossing at a speed of 86 to 96 km / h. This was despite a 1.2 meter wide stop sign with a flashing red light at the top, as well as clearly marked traffic signals warning of a crossing of approximately 400 meters, 300 meters, 200 meters and 100 meters distance.

When Singh approached the junction of Highway 335, the driver of the Broncos bus traveling on Highway 35 recognized the danger, according to the statement.

The bus driver applied the brakes and skidded for 24 meters before being hit, he said.

"The bus driver did not contribute to the collision," he said. "Mr. Sidhu's actions during the operation of the Semi-Tractor Unit caused the collision."

The semi "T-boned" the bus, sending it to the ditch.

According to the statement, there were no environmental factors that caused the accident, such as the sun's reflection or the weather conditions. The nearby trees did not obstruct the view and were "inconsequential," he said.

The document indicates that alcohol and drugs were not a factor. Sidhu was not distracted by the use of cell phones either.

He claims that Sidhu simply "did not recognize that his vehicle was approaching a crossing and paid no attention to the stop sign."

Guilty

Outside the courtroom, Sidhu's lawyer read a prepared statement saying his client feels awful and very sorry.

"His position for me was" I just want to plead guilty, "said lawyer Mark Brayford.

"Mr. Sidhu advised me:" I do not want to make things worse ".

Jaskirat Singh Sidhu's attorney, Mark Brayford, read a prepared statement outside the Melfort provincial court. He said his client just wanted to "plead guilty." 1:10

Condemnation begins on January 28

The lawyer went on to say that Sidhu is devastated by the pain he caused the families.

"He is impressed by the expressions of sympathy and kindness that some of the families and players have expressed to him despite the fact that his pain is entirely his fault."

Judge Inez Cardinal said the sentence is set to begin on January 28 in Melfort and will likely take three to five days to complete due to the number of victim impact statements that should be entered. Security displays will be available to everyone who enters the building.

Scott Thomas lost his son Evan in the road accident between a semi-trailer and the Humboldt Broncos team bus. 0:25

Scott Thomas, the victim's father and Humboldt Bronco player Evan Thomas, was relieved. Sidhu pleaded guilty.

"That means a lot," he said. "Hearing him use his own words to plead guilty was powerful."

Thomas was present on many of the dates of Sidhu's court. On Tuesday, Thomas sat next to him in court.

"I felt him … no doubt," he said. "To be so close, my heart rate went up for sure."

Thomas said he was not worried about the length of Sidhu's sentence.

Heart-wrenching

"If he spends 10 years, [that] time is irrelevant. He was guilty and acknowledged it. "

Thomas would also like to see a permanent memorial mounted at the scene of the accident. Since the collision, many people have placed wreaths and other memorials on the spot.

"What they build there will be impressive and painful," he said.

"I think it's going to be a place where people stop for eternity because it's a sacred place. Sixteen people were swept away from the face of the earth."

In a statement, the hockey team Humboldt Broncos said he was relieved. Sidhu has pleaded guilty and there will be no trial.

"I commend Mr. Sidhu for taking responsibility for his actions and sparing the survivors and families from the anguish and turmoil of passing on this tragedy to the court," said team chairman Jamie Brockman.

Rumble strips

The maximum punishment for crimes is 14 years in each dangerous driving bill, causing death and 10 years for each dangerous driving bill causing injuries.

The accident occurred at the intersection of two busy roads. The Saskatchewan government has since pledged to install rumble strips, lights, signs and road markers in the area.

The crash hit the international headlines and support for the junior hockey team came from all over the world. A GoFundMe campaign raised $ 15 million that ended up being split between the victims and their families.

Sukhmander Singh, owner and director of Adesh Deol Trucking Ltd. and Sidhu's employer at the time of the accident, faces eight counts of noncompliance with various security regulations and record keeping.

Sidhu, who was not injured, was released on bail of $ 1,000 in July under conditions of not driving and handing over his passport.


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