BRONCO SUES OVER CRASH
Injured player claims bus driver was speeding
The driver of the bus on which Humboldt Broncos team members were killed and injured was speeding at the time of the collision, alleges a lawsuit filed on behalf of one of the surviving players.
In a statement of claim filed in Calgary Court of Queen’s Bench, Airdrie resident Ryan Straschnitzki seeks more than $13 million from a variety of defendants, including the estate of driver Glen Doerksen, who died in the crash.
Also named as defendants are truck driver Jaskirat Singh Sidhu, who was sentenced to eight years in prison for causing the deadly crash, Calgary company Adesh Deol Trucking Ltd., and Charlie’s Charters Ltd., the Saskatchewan company which owned the bus carrying the players.
In civil litigation, multiple parties are often named as defendants because courts can apportion blame to more than one responsible party.
The lawsuit notes Straschnitzki suffered catastrophic injuries in the April 6, 2018 crash along Highway 35 in Saskatchewan, which killed 16 people and injured 13 others when Doerksen’s bus collided with Sidhu’s tractor trailer.
Sidhu, who ran a stop sign on Highway 335, pleaded guilty last year to 16 counts of dangerous driving causing death and 13 of dangerous driving causing bodily harm.
The lawsuit claims Sidhu drove into the path of the northbound bus after failing to stop at the intersection.
But it also lays blame on Doerksen for the crash which left Straschnitzki confined to a wheelchair.
“Mr. Doerksen was driving the ... bus in excess of the posted speed limit of 100 km/h,” the claim says.
“The defendant, Mr. Doerksen, owed a duty of care to the plaintiff to operate the said bus exercising all reasonable care and skill.”
The lawsuit alleges Doerksen operated the bus “at speeds in excess of the posted limits to a maximum of at least 119 km/h.”
It claims Doerksen was also aware that particular intersection had a history of deadly collisions.
“Mr. Doerksen was familiar with the highway upon which he was transporting the Humboldt Broncos hockey team personnel and knew that he was approaching a major intersection at which there had been numerous fatal collisions in the past.”
He failed to act in a reasonable and prudent way by “failing to reduce the speed of the said bus knowing he was approaching a dangerous intersection even though he was aware or ought to have been aware of the increased hazard presented by the sight-restricted intersection and its dangerous history.”
Other named defendants include the owners of the trailer Sidhu was pulling, the manufacturer of the bus, the Government of Alberta, which is responsible for the regulation and enforcement of extra provincial carriers registered in this province, and the Saskatchewan government, which maintains and designs its highways.
Statements of defence in response to the unproven allegations have not been filed.