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Factors judge considered in sentencing of truck driver in Humboldt Broncos crash

Jaskirat Singh Sidhu is taken out of the Kerry Vickar Centre by the RCMP following his sentencing for the Humboldt Broncos bus crash in Melfort, Sask., on Friday, March, 22, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Kayle Neis

The truck driver who caused the deadly Humboldt Broncos bus crash was sentenced Friday to eight years in prison for 29 counts of dangerous driving causing death or bodily harm. Court heard the inexperienced trucker blew through a stop sign and into the path of the junior hockey team’s bus at a rural Saskatchewan intersection last April. Sixteen people were killed and 13 injured.

In her ruling, Judge Inez Cardinal said there have been no other cases before the courts in Canada like this one. She cited several considerations she made in her decision.

Mitigating factors:

Sidhu entered early guilty pleas to all charges.

He apologized in court to the victims and their families. Cardinal said she believes his remorse is sincere.

Although not physically injured, he will suffer psychologically.

He is 30 years old with no previous criminal history and a clean driving record.

Alcohol or drugs were not involved.

— Sidhu had not been using his cellphone while driving at any point before the collision.

He faces deportation after his sentence.

Aggravating factors:

Sidhu was driving a large commercial vehicle and missed five highway signs, including a large stop sign with a flashing light.

He had ample time to stop but did not brake, reduce his speed or take evasive action.

His actions killed 16 innocent people and caused life-altering injuries to 13 other innocent people.

The devastating impact of the crash and its aftermath on families, friends and survivors cannot be measured.

The injured face lifelong challenges as a result of physical and psychological injuries.

“The impact of this catastrophe will reverberate across Canada for years to come,” said Cardinal.

The Canadian Press