Paul and Tanya Labelle attempted to identify their son after learning he was involved in the Humboldt Broncos collision and eventually wound up grieving at the funeral home.
We “spent time with a boy who we thought must be our son,” Tanya said.
Then they found out he survived the crash.
The Labelles were one of the final families to submit victim impact statements at the sentencing hearing for Jaskirat Singh Sidhu, the truck driver who ran a stop sign at a highway intersection on April 6. The crash killed 16 and injured 13 others.
Tanya Labelle described to the court the mixed emotions she and her husband experienced after learning Xavier was still alive and mistaken for fellow teammate Parker Tobin.
“Our grief continued as we met the family that had kept vigil by his side,” Tanya said. “Then they found out their son had not survived.”
For Paul, that grief carries the memory of arriving at the collision scene shortly after the crash.
“Nothing can prepare any parent for the heart-wrenching carnage that lay in front of me,” he said.
“Mr. Sidhu, all this chaos and suffering would have been avoided if you would have just stopped,” Tanya said.
Earlier this morning, Carol Brons spoke on how the crash impacted her life after she lost her daughter, Dayna.
“I don’t know when I’ll buy a headstone and I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to do that. It makes it too real,” she said.
Danya was the team’s athletic therapist. She passed five days after the crash.
“I swear I saw a tear fall as she took her last breath,” Carol said.
During her statement, the mother held up a bag containing a necklace Dayna wore on the night of the crash. Much like ordering the headstone, Carol can’t bring herself to take it out of the bag.
“I haven’t taken it out because it still has some of her hair tangled in it,” she said.
Another emotional day is in store as more victim impact statements are entered into the court record at Jaskirat Singh Sidhu’s sentencing hearing.
Many family members and loved ones spoke to the anger they felt toward the 30-year-old truck driver after he ran a stop sign at a highway intersection last April. The Humboldt Broncos bus collided with Sidhu’s semi unit, which killed 16 and injured 13 others.
The tone has varied throughout the hearing with some offering their forgiveness to Sidhu for overlooking the stop sign. Others have told him they felt his actions cheated them, taking their loved one away too soon.
According to a lengthy RCMP report submitted to the court, Sidhu had 70 federal and provincial driving violations between March 26 and April 6, the date of the crash. The violations included not keeping proper logs of his driving trips.
Had Sidhu been stopped prior to the incident, he would have been placed on a 72-hour driving suspension, the report said.
Seventy-five statements will be entered overall as Judge Inez Cardinal determines Sidhu’s fate. The driver pleaded guilty earlier this month to all 29 charges he faced.
The hearing is expected to conclude Thursday.
For a review of the hearing yesterday, watch below:
For live updates throughout the day, follow northeastNOW reporter Angie Rolheiser as she tweets from the Kerry Vickar Centre.
On Twitter: @princealbertnow
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