'A lot of hurt families': Humboldt sentencing hearing tough on loved ones - InfoNews

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'A lot of hurt families': Humboldt sentencing hearing tough on loved ones

Former NHLer Chris Joseph and his wife, Andrea, whose son Jaxon was among the sixteen players that were killed in the crash visit the memorial for the Humboldt Broncos hockey team where sixteen people died and thirteen injuried when a truck crashed into the team bus Wednesday, January 30, 2019 in Tisdale, Saskatchewan. After three days of heart wrenching victim impact statements families of the Humboldt Broncos are hoping to see an end to the entire process.
Image Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
January 31, 2019 - 8:49 AM

TISDALE, Sask. - After three days of heart wrenching victim impact statements former NHL player Chris Joseph and his wife Andrea sought solace in the one place that would bring them closer to their son Jaxon — the crash site north of Tisdale, Sask., where he and 15 others lost their lives.

The memorial at the accident scene has grown over the past nine months. There are sixteen wooden crosses with the first name of each victim.

A large metal cross emblazoned with the words "HumboldtStrong" towers over the collection of Humboldt hockey jerseys, hockey sticks, pictures of players and plastic flowers.

A plaque partially buried in the deep snow reads "Humboldt Broncos - God's hockey team."

"These last few days have been extremely tough and we know that if we're going to be this close we have to come and see the site," Joseph told The Canadian Press Wednesday as he and his wife walked around thinking about what has been lost.

"It makes us reflect and makes us think of who may be coming here to visit, who might be stopping by.

"It gives us a chance to feel like we're with the boys a little bit and Dayna."

It was the third visit for the couple to the site. During one trip on what would have been Jaxon's 21st birthday they brought him some balloons.

Also at the memorial was Myles Shumlanski, whose son Nick survived the April 6 crash. To him the site serves as a constant and painful reminder. It is less than one kilometre from the family home.

"For the next 100 years it's going to be here. It's not going to go away. This community will be living with this. We're part of this accident just like everybody else," he said.

Jaskirat Singh Sidhu, 30, has pleaded guilty to 29 counts of dangerous driving for causing the crash last April that also injured 13 others.

Court has heard that Sidhu blew through a stop sign at a rural intersection and the bus driver had no chance of avoiding a collision.

There were 90 victim impact statements submitted at the hearing. Final sentencing arguments are scheduled for Thursday.

At this point forgiveness is not on the table for the Shumlanski family.

"My son and his 12 other survivors they've got a long road ahead of them. When my son says he will forgive him I will think about it — until then I can't forgive him because it shouldn't have happened," said Shumlanski as a constant stream of semi-trailers roared by on the highway behind him.

"I'll be glad (when) this will be done and then when the thing comes down. There's a lot of hurt families."

He hopes Sidhu is handed a stiff sentence.

"I would like to get the maximum because this can't happen again and if we don't deter it's going to happen again."

Joseph said his family is still going through a lot of pain. He doubts any sentence would be long enough for those affected by the crash.

He said forgiveness isn't in the cards right now.

"We're not quite ready. We use other words than forgive for now."

Follow @BillGraveland on Twitter

News from © The Canadian Press, 2019
The Canadian Press

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