Remembering Two Years After

Photo Credit Cowichan Citizen

While many were getting ready to have supper in Saskatchewan’s small town of Humboldt the team was on route for a playoff game.

When news hit the airwaves that the Humboldt Broncos Bus had been struck by a semi-truck at 4:50 pm in what will forever be remembered as a day of tragedy for the Broncos. 

Two days prior the Broncos had lost by a narrow margin of 6-5 in O/T that saw them trail by a 3-1 margin in their playoff series against the Nipawin Hawks.

The ride was to be a two hour bus ride taking them on Highway 35 to Nipawin and when the bus was approaching the Intersection of Hwy 335 on the final part of the journey, tragedy struck

Bodies flew as the semi-truck was owned by Adesh Deol Trucking Ltd and was driven by inexperienced driver Jaskirat Sidhu with the cause citing failure to yield at stop sign but we must ask – who’s really at fault!

Sidhu pleaded guilty to all 29 counts and was charged with dangerous driving causing death and dangerous driving causing bodily harm.

In total ten players along with the team’s coach, an assistant coach, trainer, radio play-by-play announcer, statistician and the bus driver were killed and of those injured, two players were paralyzed and two received serious brain injuries.

Blame the driver, the company or the system that allows a driver to get behind the wheel with little or no experience, but for a driver to pass several signs warning about an intersection, including a large flashing stop tells everyone that someone wasn’t paying attention.

Brian Mason, Alberta Transportation Minister mentioned “Sukhinder Singh of Adesh Deol Trucking Ltd. is charged with non-compliance with federal and provincial safety regulations over a six-month period.

He continued “The charges follow an investigation that was completed by Alberta Transportation into the collision,”

Hockey teams from minor to Junior travel around the globe with each team putting their trust in the driver, some of whom they have never met in the past.

The accident claimed the lives of 16 people and injured 13 whose lives have changed in a split second that will last a life-time.

I can mention that in all my travels through BC, the drivers are extremely well trained professionals and have the team’s best interest in mind.

It’s reported in a statement the original plan was to have a temporary exhibit feature “A representation of the many creative and unique memorabilia items that were received in the days, weeks and months that followed the tragedy.” but that is on hold.

The community was set to host a memorial, but will rather move to an online format due to COVID-19 restrictions that are in place.

Of the 13 involved in the crash that survived the crash; some have healed quicker than others and returned to hockey, others will never walk again but all have taken huge steps to get where they are today which couldn’t have been easy.

The donations continued and eventually stopped as people from over 80 countries donated $15 million to support those on the gus and their families.

The Sportswave team covers various sporting events where we get the chance to chat with the drivers, all of whom are extremely professional with a “Team First” attitude.

Our thought to the surviving players and all of the Families that were involved in this tragedy that clearly could have been prevented, if only the rules were stricter.

One of the players on the bus who lost his life was former BCHL Surrey Eagle Jaxon Joseph whom the Eagles paid tribute to later in the fall with a moment of silence!

Along with Greg we were broadcasting the game on such a tragic evening.

Thoughts to everyone and remember to Keep the sticks visible!!

Photo D. Laird Allan/Sportswave