Twenty-nine charges laid on truck driver involved in Humboldt Broncos bus collision

by Truck West

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.”

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  • Boy, isn’t that a surprise!!! Like that wasn’t coming!? How does any know, the bus driver wasn’t distracted in chatting with The Coach or a Player at the last few seconds before this crash. If the truck had hit the drivers cab ( Door Entrance ) of the bus or further down the side of the bus, we know what happened. I can accept where the blame lays. But the bus hit mid-stream of that truck, with such force that they both went sideways. Based on the impact to the truck, that could mean as much (as a guess of 10 second) loaded Pulling time frame to have that situation. How long did it take for The trucker to get to the position ( as stated perhaps 10 seconds) he was in, to where the bus impacted- maybe as little as 4 seconds, maybe 6 seconds, to as much as 10 seconds. A bus is 60 feet long, doing 100 KPH, so it travels 1 and half times it’s length of say 90 feet per second. Times that by ( Minimal time of) 4 and the bus could be placed, anywhere from 90×4=360 feet to 10×90= 900 feet before impact. Then you have the actions of the bus driver, Sight-Reaction-Brake lag ( Air brakes on a Bus )- Inertia- ( All bodies (( Adults, Kids)), Luggage, fluids (Oils, Fuel, Antifreeze)) Bus natural weight (( Built weight MT now loaded))) Momentum (( everything pushing forwards )), and then you have the Exponential Drop in speed. Best reactions are, Sight-3/4 of a second- To see the truck and process what is happening (.75), Reaction 3/4 of a second- Bodies Natural Adrenalin push to come off the throttle to apply brakes (.75), Brake Lag ( On a Bus ) 1/2 second- Apply the foot valve sending pressures from reservoir along 60 feet of bus, filling Pods activating Push Rods with brake Application and with 90% Rear Application and 10% Steering application to allow for steering of the bus (.50) Inertia 1.4 of a second- Everything Suddenly Pushing Forwards(.25) Momentum 3/4 of a second- Everything all Against the front of the bus, all that weight pushing forwards (.75) and then the Exponential drop in speed which, everything settles and then drops dramatically. So the Bus driver might have had 3 seconds x 90 feet of bus or 270 feet of travel ” To Begin ” the process of stopping that bus. The distance from is KEY. With a minimum of 360 to a possible maximum of 900 feet to impact, provided the roads were as they say dry, and tires warm from travel, he would have had a 90 ( Most Minimum) (( And most likely to crash )) feet to 630 feet safety margin.

    Then there is the so called Training Program to seems to be virtually nothing by comparison to Ontario. Finding there is Nothing by way of a Universal Training Program across Canada when it comes to Driver Training of Trucks. It take this as usual before any Government, MTO at any level, Trucking Associations from Every Province and Territory believing they have done the best they can to improve safety in trucks and trust me, just because Ontario has a better Training Program than the rest of Canada the Ontario Trucking Association rendition of a better safer trucking world is No where Near as good as it can be. In fact I would cite, that Trucking Associations are the Reason are to blame for a lot of trucking problems. Just because they have trucking in their names and no one who has sat in one figures they have the answer to Our Problems, is like asking a Kid with a Remote Control Airplane how to run a 747 or a Model train in his basement on how to Safely operate a real train.

    Accidents are going to Happen, whether it is a Ship, Airplane, Train, Truck, Car or Motorcycle. Everyone of these modes have stated problems with in, but it will take Costa-Concordia, Humboldt, or Hinton or Lac-Magantic , or anywhere for a car or motorcycle to get noticed that something is wrong.

    To place the blame on a Improperly Untrained Truck Driver in any Province with a Crappy Type of anything resembling a Training program, is just showing what was inevitable going to take place. An Escape Goat. The public wanted a hanging in the Street, well they have him. And I feel sorry for him. Not only must he live with the actions of that day, to hear the screams of the dying, he must also hear the sounds of the impact. This is must also be applied as PTSD in Trucking.
    This isn’t necessarily all his fault, but a complete failure of an entire system, that still to this day, that acts like nothing has happen and will still not do a God Damned Thing, until it happens again and again, and where they will all shout the odds and look like they mean well, but just quiet down as the rest all do, over time.
    Well you got your man, Go ahead hang this poor guy, he never woke up intending to kill 16 people that day. Perhaps a lack of judgment, perhaps he did not see what was about to happen, but tell me the last time you messed up and someone paid for it.
    It is The System, that has Failed Everyone, The System, that still has done Little of Nothing to bring Better More Trained Truckers to your roads. And the kicker is, it is This System, that Does NOT AND WILL NOT LISTEN. To Anyone..
    Stephen D James

  • This is not a trucking issue, it’s a driver issue. He obviously ran a stop or yield sign and entered a highway when it was not safe to do so. If anyone is on a road they are not familiar with, they should be extra cautious (as most drivers are) especially at intersections. He should not have a drivers licence, let alone a commercial drivers licence. Why are the driver examiners giving these guys licenses. Maybe the examiners need to be better educated. And we need to re-train drivers that do not follow the standard rules of the road.

  • The problem is low pay tends to make truck drivers in short supply. To make a decent living the truck drivers will push to get extra miles in. The solution is hourly pay for all hours worked. Truck drivers under 21 or new to Canada should have to drive with a truck driver with more than 5000 hours experience. I came upon a tractor pulling 2 trailers [53feet] took 46 seconds and a tractor trailer had to brake so fast that 3 older animals had to be put down because of broken legs. I have pulled 140,000lbs and had cars try to pass me at a stop sign because I waiting for enough time to get on the big road.