An­other ad­journ­ment in court case of truck driver ac­cused in crash

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MELFORT The case of the Al­berta semi driver charged in the Hum­boldt Bron­cos bus crash has been ad­journed un­til 2019.Jaski­rat Singh Sidhu is charged with 16 counts of dan­ger­ous driv­ing caus­ing death and 13 counts of dan­ger­ous driv­ing caus­ing bod­ily harm. On Tues­day in Melfort provin­cial court, Judge Inez Car­di­nal granted more time for Sidhu, 29, to select his mode of trial.Sidhu’s lawyer, Sat­nam Au­jla, ap­peared via phone for Tues­day’s brief hear­ing, telling court the de­fence needs more time to go through dis­clo­sure re­ceived in re­cent days from the Crown.Crown pros­e­cu­tor Thomas Healey, who was present in the court­room, said the re­lease of the provin­cial govern­ment’s re­port last week on the crash added more dis­clo­sure for both the de­fence and Crown to re­view.The case was ad­journed un­til Jan. 8, 2019.Sidhu has not en­tered pleas to any of the 29 charges he faces. After at­tend­ing his ini­tial court date in July, he has not ap­peared in per­son for court dates in Au­gust, on Oct. 2 and 23, Nov. 27 or Tues­day’s ap­pear­ance. He is not re­quired to be present in court un­til a pre­lim­i­nary hear­ing takes place.The Crown con­sented to his re­lease dur­ing his first ap­pear­ance in July, on con­di­tions that he live at a spe­cific ad­dress in Cal­gary.De­fence elec­tion is the process in which the ac­cused chooses to have the case heard at ei­ther the provin­cial court level or the Queen’s Bench level.The truck driver was charged after his semi col­lided with a bus car­ry­ing the Hum­boldt Bron­cos hockey team on April 6 north of Tis­dale.The Saskatchewan Ju­nior Hockey League team was head­ing to Ni­pawin for a play­off game. Sidhu was re­turn­ing to Al­berta from Car­rot River when the ve­hi­cles crashed at the in­ter­sec­tion of High­ways 35 and 335.The max­i­mum sen­tence for dan­ger­ous driv­ing caus­ing death is 14 years. The max­i­mum for dan­ger­ous driv­ing caus­ing bod­ily harm is 10 years. The RM of Con­naught has re­cently of­fered a piece of land near the crash site to the Bron­cos so a per­ma­nent me­mo­rial can be es­tab­lished.

Jaski­rat Sidhu

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