UPDATE: TUESDAY (JULY 10)
Jaskirat Singh Sidhu was released on a bail of $1,000 on Tuesday following his first court appearance in Melfort, Saskatchewan. Crown and defence worked out an agreement before appearing in court.
Sidhu, who was ordered to surrender his passport to police, will have to reside at a home in Calgary and not operate a motor vehicle. He will be on a curfew of 11 p.m. to 7 a.m.
His next court appearance is scheduled for August 21.
Regina, Saskatchewan: Assistant Commissioner Curtis Zablocki, Saskatchewan RCMP Commanding Officer, and Superintendent Derek Williams, Officer in Charge, Major Crimes, announced on Friday that investigators have arrested Jaskirat Singh Sidhu, 29, of Calgary, the driver of the semi-trailer unit that collided with a bus carrying the Humboldt Broncos hockey team at a rural Saskatchewan intersection on April 6, from his Calgary home.
He faces 16 counts of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing death and 13 counts of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing bodily harm.
The officers said: “These are serious criminal code charges. In order to lay these charges we required evidence of a motor vehicle being operated in a manner that is dangerous to the public.
“Mr. Sidhu has been remanded into RCMP custody and will make his first appearance in Saskatchewan Provincial Court next week. Details of this court appearance have not been finalized and will be provided as soon as that information is available.
“Now that charges are laid we move to the next stage in the process. Our investigators will continue to liaise with Crown as we have been doing over the past three months.”
They added: “Our core team of 20 investigators has been supplemented by more than 100 investigators who have assisted as required. The expertise of investigators from our Forensic Identification Section, Forensic Collision Reconstruction Teams and Major Crime Unit has been critical as we have analyzed and collected evidence. In addition to the collision re-enactment we did in April, we have conducted more than 60 interviews, taken over six thousand photos, analysed all the documentation available – including the driver logbooks. We also used 3D technology and unmanned aerial vehicles to gather additional evidence.
“What we can say about the evidence gathered is limited as this matter is before the courts, but we have 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. Every piece of information was carefully examined. Our investigators were thorough in their systematic analysis of the evidence.”
The crash left 16 players and staff dead and 13 others injured. The Broncos were on their way to a playoff game when the crash occurred. Most of the injured players have been released from hospital.
The driver, who was working for Adesh Deol Trucking Ltd., a two-truck company operating out of a home in northeast Calgary, was not hurt.
The bus had the right of way. There is a flashing stop sign for drivers on Highway 335 at Highway 35 between Nipawin and Tisdale. The RCMP said the semi was in the intersection when the bus crashed into it, according to the CBC.
Sidhu had worked for the trucking company for one month prior to the fatal collision, according to owner Sukhmander Singh. Singh said Sidhu trained with him for two weeks and was driving on his own for two more weeks before the crash.
Ten members of the Broncos died. The six other deaths included the bus driver, an athletic therapist, the head coach, assistant coach and two employees of Humboldt’s FM radio station, the CBC reported.