There have been 29 charges laid against the driver of a tractor-trailer involved in the Humboldt Broncos bus crash that happened in April, but families of the victims say that won’t bring them closure.
Sixteen people died in the crash, including players and staff members of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League team. Another 13 people were injured.
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Jaskirat Singh Sidhu, 29, was remanded into custody exactly three months later, on July 6.
RCMP say he was arrested at his Calgary home at 10:07 a.m. without incident. He will appear in court in Saskatchewan next week, but a date hasn’t been set.
He is facing 16 counts of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing death, and another 13 counts of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing bodily injury.
Families of the victims say they’re happy charges have been filed.
“Our family is relieved that criminal charges have been laid against the truck driver,” Toby Boulet, whose fatally injured son Logan Boulet donated his organs after the crash, told Global News by phone. Logan was a forward on the Broncos.
“From our understanding… this is the highest level of criminal charges that can be laid against the individual. This is the max they can do,” Boulet said. “The case is bulletproof, and it’s now up to the judicial system.”
Boulet, who lives in Lethbridge, Alta., travelled to Saskatchewan for a meeting with RCMP Friday morning. Another meeting was held for families of victims in Edmonton.
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He said all the families affected were told of the charges before officials hosted a news conference to announce the charges.
He commended the RCMP for their work and for their commitment to the investigation, saying the families of the victims were able to call or email with questions at any time.
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Christina Haugan, wife of Darcy, the late head coach of the Broncos, also expressed her gratitude.
“I respect the RCMP and I think they took the time they needed to do a thorough job,,” Haugan told Global News.
In a statement from the Humboldt Broncos, the team thanked officers and investigators for their hard work.
But while the families are pleased with the charges, they say there isn’t closure yet.
“I’m happy that charges are laid, but regardless of the outcome, it doesn’t do anything for our heartbreak,” Haugan said.
“I think this is the best outcome, there’s consequences for your actions and I think that was the right choice, to lay charges. But as far as what it does for us personally it’s not going to take away our heartbreak.”
Darcy was recently given the Community Hero award posthumously at the NHL awards; Christina accepted the award on his behalf at a ceremony in Las Vegas.
Boulet says he won’t be heading to court for the Sidhu’s hearing, which is scheduled for next week. If the case goes to trial, he said someone from the Boulet family will be in court.
For Haugan, she said there’s mixed feelings about going to court.