The driver of a tractor-trailer that collided with a bus carrying a Canadian youth hockey team has been charged in connection to the April crash that left 16 dead, authorities said.
Jaskirat Singh Sidhu, 29, was charged with 16 counts of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing death and 13 counts of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing bodily harm or injury, Royal Mounted Canadian Police announced Friday.
Sidhu was taken into custody at his home in Calgary. He is set to appear on court in Saskatchewan next week, but no date has been set.
“These are serious criminal code charges," RCMP said in a statement. "In order to lay these charges we required evidence of a motor vehicle being operated in a manner that is dangerous to the public. What we can say about the evidence gathered is limited as this matter is before the courts, but we have looked at every aspect of the collision, including: the speed of the vehicles, point of impact, position of the vehicles, impairment, road and weather conditions and witness evidence.
“Every piece of information was carefully examined,” RCMP added. “Our investigators were thorough in their systematic analysis of the evidence.”
Sidhu was working for the Calgary-based Adesh Deol Trucking Ltd. when the tractor-trailer he was driving west on Highway 335 collided with a Charlie’s Charters bus carrying the Humboldt Broncos on April 6.
The bus was traveling north on Highway 35 to an SJHL playoff game and had the right of way when the collision occurred, the RCMP said.
Ten players died in the crash. The bus driver, an athletic therapist, the head coach, assistant coach and two employees of Humboldt's FM radio station were also killed.
“Our thoughts continue to be with the families who have lost loved ones, those who were injured and with everyone who is recovering from this tragedy,” the RCMP said. “It has been difficult for many to await the outcome of this police investigation."
Sidhu, who was briefly detained after the collision, was unharmed in the incident. He received trauma counseling after the crash, the CBC reported.
Police have not disclosed their findings of the investigation that determined how the collision occurred.