Exactly three months to the day that it happened, an arrest has been made and charges have been laid in relation to the Humboldt Broncos bus crash.
On Friday morning, July 6, Jaskirat Singh Sidhu, a 29-year old male from Calgary was arrested without incident at his residence in the Alberta city. He faces 29 charges in total, comprised of 16 counts of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing death and 13 counts of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing bodily injury.
Sidhu has been remanded into RCMP custody and will make his first court appearance next week, and news of his court date and location are expected to be made available soon.
As of today, he faces no impaired driving charges, RCMP say.
Sidhu was working for Calgary-based Adesh Deol Trucking Ltd when the crash happened on Friday, April 6. The bus carrying the Broncos hockey team was traveling north on Highway 35 to a playoff game in Nipawin.
Sidhu could face upwards of 14 years and 10 years for those two types of charges, respectively.
“These are serious Criminal Code charges,” said RCMP Superintendent Derek Williams at a media conference this afternoon at the RCMP Depot in Regina.
RCMP were thorough of their investigation into the crash, conducting dozens of interviews and surveying the site with a fine-toothed comb.
“We’ve conducted over 60 interviews, taken over 6000 photographs, and we’ve also used 3D technology to capture evidence,” said Williams. “What we *can* say about the evidence is limited at this time as a lot of this information is before the courts.”
Some of the public have been critical about the length of time before any substantial information on the crash was made available, but RCMP say this incident had to be handled with the utmost diligence, even if that means months had to pass.
“The time it took to do this work, this important work, was necessary,” said RCMP Commanding Officer, Assistant Commissioner Curtis Zablocki.
The bus crash claimed the lives of 16 people and has affected the surviving players to this day. The gut-wrenching emotion involved touched a nerve across all of Canada, and a GoFundMe online crowdfunding campaign raised more than $15 million in support of the team, their families and everyone affected by the crash.
Superintendent Williams said it was difficult to say how the bus crash compared to other similar events in the province or across Canada, noting that “this event stands on its own.”
RCMP assembled the families affected by the crash in Saskatoon and Edmonton to inform them of today’s developments in the investigation.