Driver charged in Broncos crash expected to select method of trial
MELFORT After multiple adjournments over the past six months, the Alberta semi driver charged in the Humboldt Broncos’ bus crash is scheduled to appear Tuesday in a Saskatchewan court for defence election.Jaskirat Singh Sidhu, 29, has not entered pleas to the 16 counts of dangerous driving causing death and 13 counts of dangerous driving causing bodily harm he faces in connection with the April collision. After attending his initial court date in July, he has not appeared in person for hearings in August, two in October, and one in each of November and December. He is not required to be present in court until a preliminary hearing takes place.The truck driver was charged after his semi and a bus carrying the Humboldt Broncos hockey team collided on April 6. The Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League team was heading to Nipawin for a playoff game while Sidhu was returning to Alberta from Carrot River when the crash happened north of Tisdale at the intersection of highways 35 and 335.Sixteen people were killed in the collision and 13 were injured.Last month in Melfort provincial court, and following the release by the provincial government of 13 recommendations to improve safety at the intersection where the crash took place, Judge Inez Cardinal granted more time for Sidhu, 29, to select his mode of trial.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.Sidhu was arrested on July 6 at his home in Calgary. The maximum sentence for dangerous driving causing death is 14 years. The maximum for dangerous driving causing bodily harm is 10 years.
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