Anger toward Jaskirat Singh Sidhu is an emotion for many families sharing victim impact statements at his sentencing hearing this week.
“I despise you for taking my baby away from me,” Andrea Joseph, mother of Jaxon Joseph said. “When people say that you made a mistake I want to throw up.”
While driving his semi unit, Sidhu ran a stop sign at a highway intersection on April 6, 2018 near Tisdale. The Humboldt Broncos’ bus collided with his trailer. Sixteen died in the crash, with 13 others injured.
“You broke him and I don’t forgive you,” Andrea said during her statement. “You don’t deserve my forgiveness.”
In another statement, Andrea’s sister Angela shared how she worries for her twin who “follows her son Brett’s hockey bus in case something happens so she can be there to help.”
Jaxon’s father, Chris, described learning of the crash and his panic to find out his son’s fate. He searched for his son at the nearest hospital.
“If your boy was not on that list, that meant your boy was left behind in the snow and had been declared dead at the scene,” he said as others wept.
A total of 75 victim impact statements will be entered into the court record this week. Proceedings held at the Kerry Vickar Centre in Melfort are expected to wrap by this Thursday.
Sidhu, who pleaded guilty to all 29 charges earlier this month, remains on bail.
“You hear the hurt and you understand it, because you felt it...” - Paul Jefferson, billet parent for Parker Tobin and Tyler Smith, with some comments during lunch break #HumboldtStrong @princealbertnow pic.twitter.com/0762tTrIbb
— Aaron Schulze (@SchulzePANow) January 29, 2019
A father clutching his son’s funeral card addressed the man who killed his son at the sentencing hearing for Jaskirat Singh Sidhu Tuesday.
“I brought this because I’d like you to meet Adam,” Adam Herold’s father Russell said during his victim impact statement at the Kerry Vickar Centre.
Herold was the youngest Humboldt Broncos player on the bus when it collided with Sidhu’s semi unit on April 6, 2018. Earlier this month, Sidhu, 30, pleaded guilty to all 29 charges, including 16 counts of dangerous driving causing death and 13 counts of dangerous driving causing bodily harm.
Herold told Sidhu the crash claimed his only son, adding that he worries for his daughter’s future when he and his wife are gone. He wanted his son to manage the family farm once his hockey career ended.
“You sir, have ended my family name and family farm," he said. “If you ever drive again, I hope you remember Adam’s name and the names of the other 28 people who were on that bus.”
Herold was one of many parents to speak on the void within their family unit during the emotional second day of the hearing.
“All you want for your kids is to take away their pain, and knowing I can’t do that for them is killing me,” Bonnie Schatz, mother of Broncos' Captain Logan Schatz, said.
Bonnie said April 6 was when their daughter Meagan was born in 1994. What was a positive day for the family is now her “worst nightmare,” she said.
Meagan's statement echoed her mother’s sentiments.
“I don’t want to let my family out of sight because I’m afraid another one will be taken away. I don’t want my husband to go to work because I’m afraid he won’t come home,” she said.
For Logan Hunter’s mother, she fears losing one more memory she can't get back:
“I keep Logan’s bedroom door closed so his scent doesn’t disappear,” she said.
More to come...
Another day of emotionally-charged statements is expected at the sentencing hearing for Jaskirat Singh Sidhu Tuesday.
Seventy-five victim impact statements will be submitted throughout the hearing, which is expected to last from three to five days.
Earlier this month, Sidhu, 30, pleaded guilty to all 29 charges stemming from the April 6 crash. The Humboldt Broncos bus collided with Sidhu’s semi-trailer after he failed to stop at a highway intersection. Sixteen players and staff members were killed, while 13 others were injured, some with trauma too severe to play hockey again.
Due to the number of attendees, hundreds of chairs are set up at the Kerry Vickar Centre, which was selected to become a temporary courtroom.
For a summary of yesterday’s events, watch below:
To read coverage in real-time, follow northeastNOW reporter Angie Rolheiser as she live tweets from the courtroom.
On Twitter: @princealbertnow
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