Jaskirat Singh Sidhu is charged with 29 counts of dangerous driving. RCMP documents presented in court show he was entirely at fault because he didn’t stop at a stop sign, resulting in the bus hitting the trailer of his vehicle. He was also found to have made 70 regulatory violations in the days leading up to the crash.
Christina Haugan gave a victim impact statement at a sentencing hearing in Saskatchewan on Tuesday. She and her two children, who were aged 12 and 9 at the time of the crash, were in court.
“Had you chosen to stop or even slow down so many lives would be different today, yours and your family included,” Haugan’s statement reads. “Everything about our lives changed in that one instant you made the decision to ignore a stop sign.”
Despite calling Sidhu’s actions negligent, she said she offered him forgiveness.
In an interview with Global National reporter Heather Yourex-West, Christina said she knew she needed to forgive him because she didn’t want her or her kids to be living in anger.
“I knew I needed to forgive him, and I knew before when I was writing [the victim impact statement] that Darcy would expect and want that from us as a family,” she said.
She also said she feels compassion for Sidhu, because she knows he didn’t intend for the crash to happen.
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“Honestly seeing him, my heart just breaks for him,” said Haugan. “His life turned upside down too, and while it was a preventable mistake, it was a mistake, and we’ve all made mistakes.”
Darcy’s parents also made impact statements, saying they knew Sidhu “did not wake up that morning with the intention of harming others.”
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They said Darcy never held a grudge.
After the sentencing hearing concludes on Friday, the judge will decide his punishment.
But Christina is ready to leave sentencing up to the court.
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“There are consequences for actions. … He did make that choice. … If I had done that, I feel like I would have to equally pay the consequences of that, but I don’t know what those are.
“I think for me, seeing that he is a real person, and seeing quite obviously that he is remorseful, makes me feel better.”
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Not all of the victim’s families feel the same. Several parents of the teenage hockey players killed are asking, “Why?”
“I want to know why. That would be a huge part in me finding forgiveness to understand why,” Scott Thomas of Saskatoon, whose son Evan died in the crash, told reporters Tuesday.
Others feel the opposite.
Andrea Joseph of St. Albert, Alta., whose son Jaxon died in the crash, says Sidhu broke the law and deserves a lengthy prison sentence, calling him a monster.
The sentencing hearing continues until Friday. More victim impact statements are expected to be presented in court Wednesday.
READ: Full victim impact statement from Darcy Haugan’s wife and parents
*With files from Heather Yourex-West