The lawyer representing the truck driver responsible for the Humboldt Broncos bus crash says his client wishes to remain in Canada after his release, Global News reports.
Jaskirat Singh Sidhu pleaded guilty in 2019 and was sentenced to eight years in prison for dangerous driving when he failed to apply his breaks thereby crashing into the coach bus carrying the junior hockey players. The crash resulted in the death of 16 people and another 13 were injured.
Most of the victims were 21 or younger, with the youngest of the victims being a mere 16 years old.
The crash spread shockwaves of sadness across the nation as Canadians mourned the loss of so many young people engaging in Canada's most iconic activity. A crowdfunding campaign for victims and their families raised over $15 million.
Sidhu, along with his wife, are immigrants to Canada from India. Since he was not a citizen and was convicted of a serious offence, his defence counsel suggested that he would likely be deported after his release.
Michael Greene, an immigration lawyer based in Calgary, said in an interview that Sidhu is extremely remorseful for his actions and that he is "hoping that people in the public, just like the (border agency) officers, will be open to seeing the good in him.”
Scott Thomas, who's son was killed in the crash, concurred with Greene, stating that Sidhu is “a broken man and I don’t think … anymore purpose will be served by sending him away from the country"
Michelle Straschnitzki, who's son was paralyzed in the crash, had a different opinion, arguing "there’s 29 people who don’t get to have a fresh, new life and because of his negligence—which is putting it lightly."
“I’m sorry. I feel terrible for his family and I don’t think he should be punished for the rest of his life, but I also don’t think he should be rewarded for his deeds,” continued Straschnitzki.