MELFORT, Sask.—A Crown prosecutor say a truck driver who caused the deadly Humboldt Broncos crash should serve 10 years in prison.
Thomas Healey has told a sentencing hearing in Melfort, Sask., that the horrific and unprecedented collision calls for a lengthy sentence.
“I’m not aware of any other collision like this one before in Canadian history,” Healey said Thursday. “This crime and its consequences are as serious as any others that have been placed before this court.”
Jaskirat Singh Sidhu of Calgary has pleaded guilty to 29 counts of dangerous driving.
The court heard Sidhu blew through a stop sign and into the path of the junior hockey team’s bus in rural Saskatchewan last April. Sixteen people died and 13 were injured.
Sidhu faces a maximum sentence of 14 years for dangerous driving causing death and 10 years for dangerous driving causing bodily harm.
The Crown is also asking for the maximum driving prohibition of 10 years.
Healey said Sidhu was travelling between 86 and 96 km/hr (53 to 60 mph) when he passed four signs warning about the upcoming intersection before he came across an oversized stop sign with a flashing light.
“Mr. Sidhu had more than enough time to bring the semi to a complete stop,” Healey said.
Healey also said Sidhu should have seen the busy highway coming up right in front of him or a car stopped across the road and waiting for the Broncos bus to pass.
“How do you miss that? It’s just astounding,” Healey said. “All he had to do was stop. That’s all.”
Healey said it wasn’t a case of rolling through a stop sign.
“This was more like a rocket,” he said.
“There was nowhere for the bus driver, Glen Doerksen, to go …. He tried. He did all he could do.”
“This wasn’t just an accident. This was a crime.”
Healey told court that the Criminal Code was changed months after the crash to increase the maximum penalty for dangerous driving causing death to life in prison and to a maximum 14 years for dangerous driving causing bodily harm.
But he noted that Sidhu must be sentenced under the previous law.