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Humboldt crash driver had 70 violations in 11 days

Posted: January 29, 2019 by Jim Park

MELFORT, Sask. — Documents presented at the sentencing hearing of Jaskirat Singh Sidhu, the truck driver who pleaded guilty to causing the Humboldt Broncos bus crash, show he had committed 70 violations of federal and provincial trucking regulations in 11 days prior to the crash. The April 6, 2018 crash between Sidhu’s truck and a bus carrying the Humboldt Broncos hockey team left 16 passengers on the bus dead and 13 others injured.

A reported dated April 20, 2018 comes from Saskatchewan’s Ministry of Highways and was part of the RCMP’s Forensic Collision Reconstruction Report made public Monday during the hearing.

The report stated that if Sidhu had been stopped and inspected on the on the day of the crash, he would have been put out of service for 72 hours.

The dozens of violations outlined in the report are mostly hours of service violations, reports say, with several days of the previous 14 missing entirely or incomplete. Other violations include failing to note the times and locations of duty status changes, incomplete trip inspection reports and falsified log entries. Reports says inspectors found 51 violations of federal regulations as well as 19 provincial violations.

Questions still remain about what happened the day of the crash. The report’s authors said they had “strong concerns” regarding the timelines of Jaskirat Singh Sidhu’s day on April 6, 2018 — the day of the crash.

Sukhmander Singh, the owner of Adesh Deol Trucking and Sidhu’s employer, currently faces eight compliance-related charges, including failing to maintain driver logs, having multiple logs for the same period and failing to monitor driver compliance.

Published reports say family members and friends of the crash victims were not made aware of the investigations findings until there were released at the hearing Monday.

The release of the report puts Sidhu in a different light, not that the extent of his non-compliance is better understood. He had earned praise from many following his guilty plea for doing the right thing. His plea, entered on January 8, was accompanied by an “agreed statement of facts” that would have been negotiated prior to entering his guilty plea.

Sidhu missed four highway signs — “Junction Highway 35,” “Stop Sign Ahead,” “Gronlid ahead/Tisdale left/Nipawin right,” and another highway junction sign —  in the 406 metres leading up to the stop sign.

The agreed statement admitted that Sidhu was not distracted by a cell phone and did not have the sun in his eyes.

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