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Truck driver in fatal Humboldt Broncos bus crash to be sentenced

MELFORT, Sask. — A truck driver who caused the deadly Humboldt Broncos crash is to be sentenced in a Saskatchewan courtroom today.

Jaskirat Singh Sidhu of Calgary pleaded guilty earlier this year to 29 counts of dangerous driving.

Sidhu barrelled 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 were injured.

The Crown wants the 30-year-old sentenced to 10 years in prison, while the defence says other cases suggest a range of 1 1/2 to 4 1/2 years is appropriate.

Sidhu’s lawyers have said he is remorseful and is likely to face deportation to his home country of India after he serves any time.

A sentencing hearing in January heard that Sidhu was going between 86 and 96 km/h when he passed four signs warning him about the upcoming intersection before he came up to an oversized stop sign with a flashing light.

Crown prosecutor Thomas Healey said Sidhu should have seen the busy highway in front of him or a car that was stopped across the road and waiting for the Broncos bus to pass.

He described the truck as a rocket that barrelled into the intersection, which gave the bus driver no time to avoid the crash.

Defence lawyer Mark Brayford said Sidhu was hired by a small Calgary trucking company three weeks earlier. He spent two weeks with another trucker before heading out on his own for his first time.

Brayford suggested Sidhu was distracted by a flapping tarp on the back of his load of peat moss.

— Follow @BillGraveland on Twitter

 

Bill Graveland, The Canadian Press