Semi-driver in Humboldt Broncos crash a newlywed with business education

MELFORT, Sask. — The man who caused the deadly Humboldt Broncos bus crash is a newlywed who earned a commerce degree in his native India and worked at a Calgary liquor store before he started driving a truck.

The lawyer for Jaskirat Singh Sidhu provided a biography for his 30-year-old client Thursday in a Melfort, Sask., court.

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Mark Brayford said Sidhu's parents are farmers in India, where Sidhu grew up and completed a university degree in commerce.

"They had a large farm by Indian standards, it's over 50 acres," Brayford said. "Interestingly it's somewhat connected to here since they grow wheat, and rice and corn although as people can imagine it's an irrigation type farming in India."

Sidhu's girlfriend immigrated to Toronto in late 2013 and he followed her to Canada shortly after.

The pair were students and moved to Calgary.

Sidhu took a two-year administration diploma course in Calgary while working part-time at a liquor store, then moved up to managing the store. His wife got a job at a dental office.

In August 2017 Sidhu got his commercial trucking licence, after a week of training, and obtained his driver's licence.

"He had some familiarity with driving and machinery from growing up on a farm, but he had no prior experience prior to getting his commercial licence," said Brayford.

"He continued to manage the liquor store and he didn't get a job immediately as a driver."

In January 2018, the couple travelled back to India and were married Feb. 15. They returned to Canada in March.

On March 17, he got a job with a small trucking company in Calgary, Adesh Deol Trucking. He spent the first two weeks with another driver and one week on his own before the crash.

"He applied for the job. He took the job and quite frankly with the complete absence of prior driving skill ... it was beyond something he could do safely."

Bradford said Sidhu and his wife recently became permanent residents in Canada, but Sidhu will likely be deported if he spends time in jail.

The judge is to hand down her sentence March 22.

"He chose to come to Canada and this conviction and sentence, and any sentence of six months will result in a removal order," Brayford said.

"This is an individual that unfortunately will not be able to live in Canada as a result. Obviously that will be something for the court to consider."

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