Father thankful for plea, if not yet ready to forgive
“If he was truly remorseful, he would plead guilty” was one of the messages from the families of victims and the surviving victims of the Humboldt Broncos tragedy ahead of Tuesday’s court appearance by truck driver Jaskirat Singh Sidhu.
Relief then came Tuesday morning as news of a guilty plea came out of the Melfort, Sask., courtroom.
“This is a significant step in the grieving process,” said Toby Boulet, whose son Logan was of the 16 people killed as a result of a collision last April, speaking to local news reporters Tuesday afternoon.
“It opens a wound, but it also closes a door a little bit. Not all the way.”
Boulet then read a family statement.
“The Boulet family is relieved that Jaskirat Singh Sidhu has chosen to plead guilty to all 29 charges from the Humboldt Broncos tragedy of April 6, 2018. We’re also continually saddened at the death of our son Logan and the other 15 members of the Bronco family plus the 13 members that have been scarred both mentally/physically and injured for life,” it reads.
“Furthermore, as much as this sounds crazy, we appreciate his remorse and the fact that we’ve saved our family and all the Bronco families plus those in the community of Humboldt the water cooler talk, the video images of the crash site, the intricate details that are private to the families and surviving victims of this crash and a potentially long and exhausting trial. Thank you very much for your time, and we appreciate all your kindness, thoughts and prayers for our family and all the families as we all continue to search for our ‘new normal.’”
Boulet said he and his wife Bernadine are planning to be in Melfort for “some part” of the sentencing hearing, set to commence on Jan. 28. They are writing a victim impact statement, as are some of the other families involved, although they are not yet sure if it will be read.
He also agrees with Evan Thomas’s father, Scott, regarding the actual sentence time.
“The sentence to me doesn’t matter as much — the fact that Mr. Sidhu pled guilty today (Tuesday) to save us all what we don’t need to go through. I’ve said all along that he was either doing something or didn’t do something he knew he wasn’t supposed to do or not do. And therefore, he’s guilty. He admitted to that today (Tuesday) in court and he is remorseful. I’m happy with that. Whatever happens next, happens next.”
Boulet also pointed out Tuesday’s elements involved the criminal case. Families have two years from the date of the incident to file a civil lawsuit, with one already doing so.
“I don’t know where the Boulets stand on the civil lawsuit,” he said. “There’s no benefit to us, other than finding out exactly what happened or didn’t happen. Families are allowed to opt in or opt out. We haven’t made our decision. Some families have forgiven him (Sidhu), but we’re not at that stage of our lives yet.”
Toby Boulet, whose son Logan died after the Humboldt Broncos bus crash, speaks with reporters following Tuesday's guilty plea by the transport truck driver involved in the collision.