REGINA, Sask. – Jaskirat Sidhu, the truck driver who collided with the Humboldt Broncos bus on April 6, was arrested this morning and faces 29 charges.
The 29-year-old male from Calgary who worked for Adesh Deol Trucking was charged with 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 was arrested at his Calgary residence without incident and will make his first appearance in Saskatchewan court next week.
The investigation took approximately three months and included a reenactment of the collision, over 60 interviews, more than 6,000 photos of the crash scene, and an analysis the driver’s log book.
Police gave little detail of the investigation, saying the integrity of the court process must now take precedence.
Derek Williams, superintendent of the RCMP’s major crimes unit, said the charges laid on Sidhu are “serious criminal code charges” that required evidence that the truck was being operated in a manner that is dangerous to the public.
Williams said his core unit of 20 investigators was supplemented with an additional 100 as required during the course of the investigation.
“We’ve looked at every aspect of the collision, including the speed of the vehicles, point of impact, position of the vehicles, impairment, road and weather conditions, and witness evidence,” Williams said during a live press conference in Regina July 6. “Every piece of information was carefully examined.”
Investigators also met with the families affected by the incident to tell them the outcome of the investigation.
Susan Ewart, executive director of the Saskatchewan Trucking Association (STA), said “The Saskatchewan Trucking Association thanks all of those involved in investigating the crash that occurred April 6. There are still many unanswered questions around the circumstances of the accident. The STA will continue to work with our provincial government to ensure that safety on our roads is a priority for all commercial drivers and trucking companies.”
Mike Millian, president of the Private Motor Truck Council of Canada (PMTC), commended the Saskatchewan RCMP for taking the necessary time to conduct a thorough investigation, despite public pressure to make an arrest quickly.
Millian said though trucking is for the most part a safe industry, accident will always occur.
“As an industry, no matter how impeccable our safety records may be, we must always be looking for ways to improve the safety of our industry and the roads and motoring public that we share our workplace with,” he said. “The PMTC is committed to continue working with Transport Canada, the provincial ministries, enforcement, and our industry partners to ensure we continue to improve safety, compliance and training, and leave no stone unturned to ensure tragedies like this do not occur again.”
The Alberta government echoed sentiments to the families impacted by the tragedy, saying, “This is a national tragedy and our hearts continue to be with the families of those who were lost. As soon as we were notified that the driver and truck were registered in Alberta, we launched an investigation as part of our government’s due diligence following such a tragedy. The findings of that investigation have been turned over to the RCMP and we cannot get into details as those items are now before the courts.”