Emotions were as high as the temperature in Melfort for a court appearance many Canadians have been waiting for nearly three months.
People from across Saskatchewan travelled to Melfort Provincial Court before dawn just to get the first look at Jaskirat Sidhu, the 29-year-old semi-truck driver involved in the Humboldt Broncos bus crash April 6. Sidhu is charged with 16 counts of dangerous driving causing death along with 13 counts of dangerous driving causing bodily harm.
Sidhu’s first court appearance was brief, lasting only about 10 minutes, though it was enough time for the father of one of the departed Broncos players to look him in the eye.
“I think I caught his eye once,” Scott Thomas said. “In case this goes to a plea bargain at least he can put my face to it. That’s all I wanted to accomplish today, was to hopefully see him face-to-face and in case this never goes to trial, he’s seen my face."
Thomas’ 18-year-old son Evan was one of the 16 members of the Broncos organization who lost their lives in the crash.
“I just wanted to come today and represent the families who maybe wanted to be here but couldn’t,” Thomas said.
When asked how he felt seeing Sidhu for the first time, Thomas only had two short words to say.
“Just empty," he said. "Just empty.”
The Crown agreed to release Sidhu on a $1000 deposit with conditions including surrendering his passport and not operating a motor vehicle.
Members of the media lined up behind the building as Sidhu was escorted out by police.
Sidhu's next appearance at the provincial court in Melfort will be on August 21 at 9:30 am.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Commenting is closed now that the matter is before the court.
On Twitter: @SchulzePANow
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