Regina, Saskatchewan – (Statement)
It was three months ago that tragedy struck the Humboldt Broncos Hockey team, the community of Humboldt, and many communities across our Province and Country.
Our thoughts continue to be with the families who have lost loved ones, those who were injured, and with everyone who is recovering from this tragedy. It has been difficult for many to await the outcome of this police investigation.
We know the interest in this investigation is significant which is why we are making this public announcement. However, we must protect the integrity of the evidence and respect the judicial process as this matter is now before the courts.
Earlier today, Saskatchewan RCMP Commanding Officer Curtis Zablocki and Superintendent Williams spoke to the media to advise of an arrest and charges in relation to this collision.
Today at 10:07 a.m., investigators from our Major Crime Unit arrested the driver of the semi-trailer unit, Jaskirat Sidhu, a 29-year-old male from Calgary, Alberta. Mr. Sidhu was arrested without incident at his residence in Calgary. He faces the following charges:
16 counts of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing death; Section 249 (4) CC
13 counts of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing bodily harm; Section 249 (3) CC
These are serious criminal code charges. In order to lay these charges we required evidence of a motor vehicle being operated in a manner that is dangerous to the public.
Mr. Sidhu has been remanded into RCMP custody and will make his first appearance in Saskatchewan Provincial Court next week. Details of this court appearance have not been finalized and will be provided as soon as that information is available.
Now that charges are laid we move to the next stage in the process. Our investigators will continue to liaise with crown as we have been doing over the past three months.
Our core team of 20 investigators has been supplemented by more than 100 investigators who have assisted as required. The expertise of investigators from our Forensic Identification Section, Forensic Collision Reconstruction Teams and Major Crime Unit has been critical as we have analyzed and collected evidence. In addition to the collision re-enactment we did in April, we have conducted more than 60 interviews, taken over six thousand photos, analysed all the documentation available – including the driver logbooks. We also used 3D technology and unmanned aerial vehicles to gather additional evidence.
What we can say about the evidence gathered is limited as this matter is before the courts, but we have looked at every aspect of the collision, including: the speed of the vehicles, point of impact, position of the vehicles, impairment, road and weather conditions and witness evidence. Every piece of information was carefully examined. Our investigators were thorough in their systematic analysis of the evidence.
Finally, we want to acknowledge the assistance we have received from our partners at Transport Canada, the Provincial Coroner’s Office and Saskatchewan Government Insurance.
Assistant Commissioner Curtis Zablocki – Commanding Officer
Superintendent Derek Williams – Officer in Charge, Major Crimes