The truck driver behind the Humboldt Broncos tragedy sentenced to eight years

The truck driver behind the Humboldt Broncos tragedy sentenced to eight years

The driver who caused the deaths of 16 people on a rural Canadian road in Saskatchewan after crashing his truck into a bus transporting a junior hockey team has been sentenced on Friday to eight years in prison, Canadian media reported.

Sindu had pleaded guilty in January to 16 counts of unsafe driving causing death and 13 counts of risky driving causing bodily harm.

He stood quietly and looked ahead at the judge as he was sentenced.

Judge Inez Cardinal handed down her sentence today in Melfort provincial court, where family members and friends of the victims attended wearing Broncos jerseys.

Justice Cardinal said Sidhu's remorse, guilty plea and psychological suffering impacted her decision to not hand him the maximum sentence of 14 years.

Sixteen people were killed and 13 were injured.

"Mr. Sidhu had ample time to react ... had he been paying attention", she said.

"Somehow, we must stop the carnage on our highways", Cardinal said.

The Crown was looking for a 10-year prison sentence, while the defence said other cases suggest a range of 1.5 to 4.5 years.

Cardinal said she focussed on precedents set in cases involving truck drivers charged with unsafe driving in coming to her decision.

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Sidhu's lawyer said he took responsibility for the crash to avoid a trial and more hurt for the victims and their families.

The judge noted that Sidhu will be deported after serving his sentence because he's a permanent resident and not a Canadian citizen.

Kaleb Dahlgren's father Mark said Sidhu's sentence is "one more step" in the healing process. The bus was unable to stop in time, t-boning the semi that was already in the intersection.

The Humboldt Broncos issued a statement after the crash saying the team is thankful that the case has been resolved and that Sidhu was held accountable for his actions in the crash. "Mr. Sidhu wasn't speeding but his speed was excessive".

According to an agreed statement of facts, Sidhu was going between 86 and 96 km/h when he drove through a stop sign and into the intersection north of Tisdale.

Sidhu had been hired by Calgary-based company Adesh Deol Trucking Ltd. about three weeks before the crash.

Prosecutor Thomas Healey said Sidhu should have seen the busy highway in front of him or a auto that was stopped across the road and waiting for the Broncos' bus to pass. He spent two weeks with another trucker before heading out on his own for the first time just days before the crash.

Court heard he was distracted by a flapping tarp on his trailer and missed four highway-related signs leading up to the stop sign at the intersection.

Chris Beaudry, former assistant coach of the Humboldt Broncos, arrives for Sidhu's sentencing hearing.

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