The driver involved in the crash with the Humboldt Broncos junior hockey team’s bus that killed 16 people pleaded guilty on Tuesday to all charges against him.
“I plead guilty, your honour,” said Jaskirat Singh Sidhu as he stood before a judge in a court in Melfort, Sask.
In the crash 16 people lost there lives while 13 players were injured when the Broncos bus collided in rural Saskatchewan last April.
Sidhu was charged with 16 counts of dangerous driving causing death and 13 charges of dangerous driving causing bodily harm.
“His position to me was, ‘I just want to plead guilty. I don’t want you to plea bargain. I don’t want a trial,” said Sidhu’s lawyer, Mark Brayford, outside court, his client beside him with his head down.
“Mr. Sidhu advised me: ‘I don’t want to make things any worse. I can’t make things any better, but I certainly don’t want to make them worse by having a trial.” he added
Brayford, who recently took on the case, said more evidence still needs to be handed over to the defence, but Sidhu wanted to avoid further delays.
Brayford said “He wanted the families to know that he’s devastated by the grief that he’s caused them.” “And he’s overwhelmed by the expressions of sympathy and kindness that some of the families and players have expressed to him in spite of the fact their grief is entirely his fault.”
The owner of the Calgary trucking company that hired Singh was also charged after the crash.
Sukhmander Singh of Adesh Deol Trucking faces eight charges relating to non-compliance with federal and provincial safety regulations.
– With files from Bill Graveland in Calgary