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Jaskirat Singh Sidhu, Semi-Driver In Humboldt Broncos Crash A Newlywed With Business Education

Darpan News Desk The Canadian Press, 31 Jan, 2019
  • Jaskirat Singh Sidhu, Semi-Driver In Humboldt Broncos Crash A Newlywed With Business Education

MELFORT, Sask. — The man who caused the deadly Humboldt Broncos bus crash is a newlywed who earned a commerce degree in his native India and worked at a Calgary liquor store before he started driving a truck.


The lawyer for Jaskirat Singh Sidhu provided a biography for his 30-year-old client Thursday in a Melfort, Sask., court.


Mark Brayford said Sidhu's parents are farmers in India, where Sidhu grew up and completed a university degree in commerce.


"They had a large farm by Indian standards, it's over 50 acres," Brayford said. "Interestingly it's somewhat connected to here since they grow wheat, and rice and corn although as people can imagine it's an irrigation type farming in India."


Sidhu's girlfriend immigrated to Toronto in late 2013 and he followed her to Canada shortly after.


The pair were students and moved to Calgary.



Sidhu took a two-year administration diploma course in Calgary while working part-time at a liquor store, then moved up to managing the store. His wife got a job at a dental office.


In August 2017 Sidhu got his commercial trucking licence, after a week of training, and obtained his driver's licence.


"He had some familiarity with driving and machinery from growing up on a farm, but he had no prior experience prior to getting his commercial licence," said Brayford.


"He continued to manage the liquor store and he didn't get a job immediately as a driver."


In January 2018, the couple travelled back to India and were married Feb. 15. They returned to Canada in March.


On March 17, he got a job with a small trucking company in Calgary, Adesh Deol Trucking. He spent the first two weeks with another driver and one week on his own before the crash.



"He applied for the job. He took the job and quite frankly with the complete absence of prior driving skill ... it was beyond something he could do safely."


Bradford said Sidhu and his wife recently became permanent residents in Canada, but Sidhu will likely be deported if he spends time in jail.


The judge is to hand down her sentence March 22.


"He chose to come to Canada and this conviction and sentence, and any sentence of six months will result in a removal order," Brayford said.


"This is an individual that unfortunately will not be able to live in Canada as a result. Obviously that will be something for the court to consider."


Broncos Crash: Cases Cited For Judge To Consider In Sentence Of Truck Driver


A Saskatchewan court heard sentencing arguments Thursday at a hearing for the truck driver who caused the Humboldt Broncos bus crash that killed 16 people and injured 13 others.

Jaskirat Singh Sidhu pleaded guilty earlier this month to all 29 charges of dangerous driving.


The Crown has recommended Sidhu be sentenced to 10 years in prison, while his legal team did not put forward a recommendation.


Here is a look at other dangerous driving cases cited during the arguments.

 

Keith Dunford

Dunford was sentenced to just under two years in jail after he was found guilty of killing a flag worker in a construction zone near Midale, Sask., in August 2012.


Court heard that it was 18-year-old Ashley Richards's first day on the job when she was struck by Dunford's speeding SUV.


Richards, who had recently moved from Lakeside, N.B., was thrown about the width of a football field.


Dunford told court said he didn't see any of the construction warning signs and he was distracted by some papers blowing around in his vehicle.

 


Mohinder Singh Saini


Saini was a transport truck driver who was sentenced to six years in prison after being convicted of dangerous driving in a fatal 20-vehicle collision on an Ontario highway.


Saini was charged with four counts of dangerous driving causing death and nine counts of dangerous driving causing serious bodily harm.


Two children were among the four people killed: Carl Laws, Jackie Laws, Jesus Duran-Flores and Cuauhtemoc Duran-Flores.


Court heard Saini was driving with a loaded trailer in a construction zone at about 100 km/h when he hit the brakes, but struck a Ford Fiesta and triggered the collision in Whitby, Ont., in October 2015.


The trial judge found that Saini "deliberately lied" to police and court, blaming another driver for the crash.

 

Normand Lavoie


Lavoie was sentenced to three years in prison and banned from driving for five years after pleading guilty to "senselessly" killing three Saskatchewan teenagers.


Justin Gaja, Kristian Skalicky and Carter Stevenson were killed while returning home from football camp on May 3, 2015, when a semi rear-ended their car in a construction zone near Spalding, Sask.


Lavoie told a police officer he felt like he was on auto-pilot before the crash.

 

Jaswinder Singh Bagri


Bagri was sentenced to three years in prison and received a five-year driving ban after he was found guilty of killing a family of four from Palo Alta, Calif., in Kootenay National Park in July 2011.


Court heard that Bagri was driving westbound through a sharp corner, crossed the centre line and jack-knifed, colliding head on with a camper van near Radium Hot Springs, B.C.


All four people in the van — Andrew Howard, his wife Ana-Maria Dias and their children Samantha and Veronica — died in the crash.

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