Last Friday investigators arrested Jaskirat Singh Sidhu, 29, of Calgary, the driver of the semi-trailer unit that collided with a bus carrying the Humboldt Broncos hockey team at a rural Saskatchewan intersection on April 6, from his Calgary home.
He faces 16 counts of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing death and 13 counts of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing bodily harm.
The officers said: “These are serious criminal code charges. In order to lay these charges we required evidence of a motor vehicle being operated in a manner that is dangerous to the public.
“Now that charges are laid we move to the next stage in the process. Our investigators will continue to liaise with Crown as we have been doing over the past three months.”
They added: “Our core team of 20 investigators has been supplemented by more than 100 investigators who have assisted as required. The expertise of investigators from our Forensic Identification Section, Forensic Collision Reconstruction Teams and Major Crime Unit has been critical as we have analyzed and collected evidence. In addition to the collision re-enactment we did in April, we have conducted more than 60 interviews, taken over six thousand photos, analysed all the documentation available – including the driver logbooks. We also used 3D technology and unmanned aerial vehicles to gather additional evidence.
The crash left 16 players and staff dead and 13 others injured. The Broncos were on their way to a playoff game when the crash occurred. Most of the injured players have been released from hospital.
The driver, who was working for Adesh Deol Trucking Ltd., a two-truck company operating out of a home in northeast Calgary, was not hurt.
The bus had the right of way. There is a flashing stop sign for drivers on Highway 335 at Highway 35 between Nipawin and Tisdale. The RCMP said the semi was in the intersection when the bus crashed into it, according to the CBC.
Sidhu had worked for the trucking company for one month prior to the fatal collision, according to owner Sukhmander Singh. Singh said Sidhu trained with him for two weeks and was driving on his own for two more weeks before the crash.
Although Sidhu was not injured in the crash, he did receive trauma counselling in the aftermath.
Sidhu was a Bachelor of Commerce student at Panjab University in Chandigarh, India, from 2008 until 2012, according to his LinkedIn profile.
He made his way to Calgary on a student visa in 2013 to study for a diploma in business administration at Bow Valley College from 2014 until 2015.
After a court appearance on Tuesday, Sidhu was released on bail with a number of conditions including a ban on operating a motor vehicle while out of custody.
He is also not allowed to change his Calgary address or travel more than 100 kilometres from his home. He must check in regularly with police either in person or by phone and see a doctor as instructed by a probation officer.
He was also ordered to surrender his passport. -CINEWS