The driver whose truck crashed into a hockey team’s bus in Canada, killing 16 people, on Friday was sentenced to eight years in prison.
Thirteen others were injured when Jaskirat Singh Sidhu’s semitrailer loaded with peat moss collided with the Humboldt Broncos’ bus in rural Saskatchewan.
Sidhu had earlier this year pleaded guilty to 29 counts of dangerous driving.
The Broncos were on their way to a playoff game in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League.
Judge Inez Cardinal said that Sidhu’s remorse and guilty plea were mitigating factors, but added that she had to consider the number of people who died or were severely injured and face lifelong challenges.
Sidhu’s truck in April last year ran through a stop sign and into the path of the junior hockey team’s bus at an intersection.
The collision was avoidable, Cardinal said.
“Mr Sidhu had ample time to react ... had he been paying attention,” she said. “Somehow we must stop this carnage on our highways.”
The prosecution wanted the 30-year-old Sidhu to be sent to prison for 10 years, while his lawyers said that other cases suggested a range of one-and-a-half to four-and-a-half years.
Cardinal began her decision by reading aloud each victim’s name. She said the nearly 100 victim impact statements from families were staggering.
The judge said that the hockey players who died were gifted athletes, while others on the bus were dreaming about families or had already started them.
“Families have been torn apart because of the loss,” Cardinal said. “They are prone to depression, anxiety or outbursts.”
She also spoke of the survivors, who she said “are putting on a brave face in an attempt to be strong.”
Sidhu’s lawyers had said he was remorseful and is likely to face deportation to his home country of India after he serves time.
At a sentencing hearing in January, it was made known that Sidhu was going 86kph to 96kph when he passed four signs warning him about the upcoming intersection and approached an oversized stop sign with a flashing light.
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, prosecutor Thomas Healey said.
Healey described the semitrailer as a rocket that barreled into the intersection, which gave the bus driver no time to avoid the crash.
Defense lawyer Mark Brayford said that Sidhu was hired by a small Calgary trucking company three weeks earlier. He had spent two weeks with another truck driver before heading out on his own for the first time.
Sidhu was distracted by a flapping tarp on the back of his load of peat moss, Brayford said.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Friday said that he had called in the “third umpire” as he announced that recreational cricket would be allowed to resume next weekend. In a radio interview earlier on Friday, Johnson angered thousands of club cricketers by saying that the amateur game was still not safe to play amid the COVID-19 pandemic because of issues surrounding communal teas and dressing rooms. “It’s the teas, it’s the changing rooms and so on and so forth. There are other factors involved that generate proximity which you might not get in a game of tennis,” he said. Johnson had already
Indian police are investigating an alleged betting scandal in which a sham cricket tournament was held in an Indian village and passed off as a Twenty20 contest played in Sri Lanka. Players portrayed as Sri Lankan cricketers played two matches on Monday last week that were broadcast with live commentary on YouTube, media reports said, along with ball-by-ball coverage on top Indian sports Web sites. The organizers hung Sri Lankan advertisements at the ground for added authenticity and put up tents to block the view from outside the remote rural venue, set in farmland next to a busy highway. Police said that they
Taipower on Sunday charged to their third straight win and took over first place in the Taiwan Football Premier League as previous leaders Taichung Futuro suffered their first defeat of the season, while Hang Yuan rallied from two goals down to complete a thrilling 3-2 victory over National Taiwan University of Sport (NTUS). Heading into the 10th round of matches, unbeaten Taichung Futuro led the league with 21 points, but they fell to their first defeat of the season, a 1-0 loss to Tatung at the National Stadium in Kaohsiung. In a match in which both defenses were on top and there
HOTSHOT: Luis Suarez scored his 194th goal for Barca, tying him with Ladislao Kubala as the club’s third-highest scorer, behind Cesar Rodriguez and Lionel Messi With another decisive penalty from Sergio Ramos, Real Madrid on Sunday extended their perfect run after the COVID-19 suspension and moved closer to their first Spanish title in three years. Ramos scored his fifth goal since the season resumed as Madrid defeated Athletic Bilbao 1-0 to maintain a four-point lead over Barcelona, who beat fifth-placed Villarreal 4-1. Luis Suarez and Antoine Griezmann were among the scorers for Barcelona after assists from Lionel Messi. Ramos converted a 73rd-minute penalty to give Madrid their seventh straight victory and they remain the only team with a perfect record since La Liga resumed. “These three points are very