Guilty plea mer­ci­ful, but sen­tence can’t be

North Bay Nugget - - OPINION -

The heart­break of hum­boldt will never fade for those near­est and dear­est to the 29 peo­ple in­volved in the tragedy. Fel­low Cana­di­ans dev­as­tated by the april 6, 2018, bus crash — which claimed the lives of 16 mem­bers of the hum­boldt Bron­cos ju­nior hockey or­ga­ni­za­tion and in­jured 13 oth­ers — have tried to share the bur­den of grief those fam­i­lies carry to the best of their abil­i­ties.

as we pass an­other mile­stone on this painful jour­ney, we can be thank­ful for small mer­cies.

on Tues­day, truck driver Jaski­rat singh sidhu pleaded guilty to all charges against him: 16 counts of dan­ger­ous driv­ing caus­ing death and 13 charges of dan­ger­ous driv­ing caus­ing bod­ily harm.

a sen­tenc­ing hear­ing is sched­uled to be­gin Jan. 28 for the man who was driv­ing the truck that col­lided with the Bron­cos team bus.

By plead­ing guilty in the Melfort, sask., court, sidhu has waived his right to a trial, which would have been a dev­as­tat­ingly emo­tional re­play of that tragic day for all the fam­i­lies con­cerned.

as we al­ready have heard from some of the hum­boldt fam­i­lies, many will find some small mea­sure of com­fort in not go­ing through the or­deal of a trial.

and while sidhu’s lawyer has in­di­cated the Cal­gary truck driver wished to spare the fam­i­lies any fur­ther suf­fer­ing, we still ex­pect him to face the full pun­ish­ment avail­able to the court.

as we have said from the be­gin­ning of this ter­ri­ble jour­ney, we will not for­get the hum­boldt Bron­cos.

To­day ,we re­mem­ber dayna Brons, Parker Tobin, darcy hau­gan, Brody hinz, Lo­gan schatz, Jaxon Joseph, adam herold, Mark Cross, Tyler Bieber, stephen Wack, Lo­gan hunter, Con­ner Lukan, glen do­erk­sen, evan Thomas, Ja­cob Le­icht and Lo­gan Boulet.

and to­day, we also are think­ing of those who sur­vived the hor­rific crash: Xavier La­belle, ni­cholas shum­lan­ski, ryan straschnitzki, Morgan gobeil, Matthieu gomer­cic, Tyler smith, derek Pat­ter, gray­sen Cameron, Kaleb dahlgren, Layne Mat­e­chuk, Bray­den Cam­rud, Bryce Fisk and Ja­cob Wasser­man.

In a story with­out a happy end­ing, all we can do is our very best to help those still go­ing through this trau­matic ex­pe­ri­ence.

and if we can make a dif­fer­ence by chang­ing laws, bet­ter en­forc­ing laws, adding seat­belts to all buses and gen­er­ally do­ing all we can to en­sure this doesn’t hap­pen again, then that is what we must do.

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