Jaskirat Sidhu, driver charged in Humboldt Broncos bus crash, granted bail
Sidhu, 29, is facing 16 charges of dangerous driving causing death and 13 charges of dangerous driving causing bodily harm.
Sixteen people were killed and 13 others injured when the Bronco’s team bus and a semi collided at an intersection in eastern Saskatchewan on April 6.
Sidhu was arrested on July 6 at his Calgary home and appeared Tuesday in Melfort provincial court.
He has been released on $1,000 bail with a number of conditions: he must reside at his Calgary home, follow a curfew, is under a driving ban, and must surrender his passport.
Court documents list a home in northeast Calgary as the address Sidhu must reside at while on bail.
Neighbours told Global News Sidhu resides in the basement suite at the home located in the community of Saddle Ridge.
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Global News has reached out to the Merchant Law Group in Calgary and a spokesperson refused to confirm if anyone had been retained.
Scott Thomas, whose son Evan was one of the 10 Bronco players killed in the crash, was in court for Sidhu’s brief appearance.
“(I represented) the families that maybe wanted to be here but couldn’t be here and at least have a presence in the building,” Thomas said outside the court house.
Thomas said he was also there for another reason.
“I think I caught his eye once, and in case this goes to a plea bargain he can put my face to it,” he said.
“That’s all I wanted to accomplish today, was to hopefully see him face-to-face, and in case this never goes to trial, then he’s seen my face.”
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Michelle Straschnitzki, the mother of injured Bronco player Ryan, said she is not surprised Sidhu was released on bail.
“Unfortunately, it is the nature of law in this country,” Straschnitzki told Global News.
“It will be a very long, very emotional and stressful process. We are expecting to go through a lot of emotions and feelings, but we will see it through and do trust that the investigators are doing everything that can be done to ensure that justice is served.”
Straschnitzki added the trucking industry and trucking companies also need to be held accountable.
“But that is something we will need to work on. Frankly, I want to see some actual remorse from those parties,” she stated.
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The charges were laid following an extensive RCMP investigation.
Police have said little about why the charges were laid but have said the semi was in the intersection at the time of the crash.
Saskatoon defence lawyer Chris Lavier, who is not involved in the case, told Global News the Crown will have to prove a number of things to get a conviction.
“They have to show that the operation of that motor vehicle was dangerous under the circumstances — looking at road conditions, (whether) traffic safety laws were observed, if there were bystanders that are present, speeds, things like that — then show that the person (who) was operating that vehicle knew or ought to have known the manner of their driving was dangerous,” Lavier said.
“Most importantly the Crown will have to lead evidence of the deaths or the bodily injury.”
The maximum sentence for dangerous driving causing death is 14 years, and up to 10 years for a dangerous driving causing bodily harm conviction.
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