The truck driver who was responsible for the deadly Humboldt Broncos bus crash that killed 16 people and injured 13 others was sentenced on Friday to eight years in prison.
Jaskirat Singh Sidhu pleaded guilty last April to 29 counts of dangerous driving after he went through a stop sign and his semi-automatic truck collided into the junior hockey team’s bus in Saskatchewan. Sixteen people died another 13 were injured.
The incident prompted national mourning and a crowdfunding campaign raised more than $15 million for the families.
During his sentencing hearing in January, Sidhu, now 30 years old, accepted full responsibility for the crash and apologized to the families of the victims. He was also found to be in violation of dozens of provincial and federal trucking violations.
“I can’t even imagine what you guys are going through or what you have been through. I have taken the most valuable things of your life,” he said.
During the sentencing decision, Judge Inez Cardinal said she felt empathy towards the victims and their families. “Families have been torn apart,” she said, according to CBC News.
The Crown prosecutor had originally sought a 10-year sentence against Sidhu. His defence team argued he should receive a sentence up to four-and-a-half years.
Immigration experts have said that Sidhu, a permanent resident in Canada, will likely be deported to India after he completes his sentence. Permanent residents are not allowed to remain in Canada if they are convicted of a crime that holds a maximum sentence of 10 years, or their prison sentence is longer than six months.
"The facts of this case are extremely sympathetic if it were not for the horrible consequences of what happened," Lorne Waldman, a prominent immigration lawyer, told CBC News.
"But it was such a serious offence, and the consequences were so great, that I would think it would be hard for him to be successful in convincing someone not to proceed with a deportation process against him."
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