Parents of misidentified Bronco tell court how mix-up affected their lives

Paul and Tanya LaBelle’s son, Xavier, had been mixed up with another player, Parker Tobin

Jaskirat Singh Sidhu, centre, the driver of the truck that struck the bus carrying the Humboldt Broncos hockey team, arrives with his lawyers Mark Brayford, left, and Glen Luther, right, for the third day of his sentencing hearing, Wednesday, January 30, 2019 in Melfort, Sask. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz)

The parents of a Humboldt Broncos hockey player who was misidentified after a fatal bus crash say they learned he hadn’t been killed while they were attending a vigil honouring him and others who died.

Paul and Tanya LaBelle of Saskatoon told a sentencing hearing for the truck driver who caused the crash that they received a call about the unbelievable news.

READ MORE: Truck blew through intersection where Broncos crash happened, court hears

They discreetly told other family members at the vigil before travelling to the Saskatoon hospital where their son Xavier had been mixed up with another player, Parker Tobin.

Tanya LaBelle said they were devastated for the Tobin family.

“We grieved with them,” she said Wednesday as the last of 75 victim impact statements were submitted in a makeshift court in Melfort, Sask.

“We are devastated for them and their family.”

Jaskirat Singh Sidhu, who is 30 and from Calgary, has pleaded guilty to 29 counts of dangerous driving for causing the crash last April that killed 16 people and 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.

The mother of the athletic therapist for the Broncos told the hearing that she is tormented by thoughts of her daughter’s last moments on the hockey team’s bus before it collided with Sidhu’s semi truck.

“Did Dayna see the truck? Did she cry out in fear and in pain?” Carol Brons wondered out loud.

Brons said she was looking forward to one day walking her daughter down the aisle at her wedding.

“We did walk Dayna down the aisle … but we weren’t escorting a bride. We were escorting a casket,” Brons yelled through tears.

She said the coffin was closed for the funeral because her 24-year-old daughter looked nothing like the beautiful brown-eyed woman she was before the crash.

Lyle Brons said his daughter was hard-working, fun-loving and brought love, care and happiness to people around her.

He said Sidhu’s guilty plea and show of remorse have made things somewhat easier.

“I don’t know if I completely forgive Mr. Sidhu yet, but I know eventually I will,” he said. “I pray that everyone affected by this tragedy, including Mr. Sidhu, will somehow find peace and happiness in their lives.”

Several families have said the biggest question they have is why Sidhu barrelled past the sign and into the path of the junior hockey team’s bus.

They also want to hear from the driver himself.

“All he had to do was stop,” Scott Thomas of Saskatoon, whose 18-year-old son Evan died, said Tuesday.

“I want to know why. That would be a huge part in me finding forgiveness to understand why.”

An agreed statement of facts said Sidhu was not impaired or distracted and road and weather conditions were good at the time.

After the crash, it was discovered that Sidhu had 70 violations of federal and provincial trucking regulations and inspection rules. Had he been stopped, he would have been suspended from driving for 72 hours.

It’s expected Sidhu will also get a chance to address the court. He has yet to speak publicly about the crash, although his lawyer has said Sidhu takes responsibility for what happened. He has been seen wiping away tears during the hearing.

Chris Purdy and Bill Graveland, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

VIDEO: Firefighters stop blaze from spreading after BMW crashes at Saratoga Speedway

Victoria-based businessmen were ‘corner training’ on Father’s Day when incident took place

Ginger Goodwin’s Cumberland cemetery grave desecrated

Just days before the Miners Memorial weekend, Ginger Goodwin’s grave has been… Continue reading

Cannabis store proposed for west side of Courtenay

Courtenay Council has approved second reading of a zoning amendment for a… Continue reading

North Island College celebrates 150th bachelor of business administration graduate

The North Island College School of Business marks a milestone in 2019… Continue reading

Former volleyball star runs to kill cancer

Since 2012, Stephanie Kurz has been pushing herself to the limit as… Continue reading

VIDEO: Trans Mountain expansion project gets green light, again

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the decision in Ottawa on Tuesday afternoon

MPs hear retired B.C. nurse’s petition to change compensation for fatal medical errors

Teri McGrath wants provinces to implement no-fault system for medical errors

Horgan says he’ll still defend B.C. coast after second Trans Mountain approval

Meanwhile, one B.C. First Nation has announced plans for a legal challenge

Courtenay council adopts bylaw to regulate plastics

Courtenay council adopted a bylaw to regulate the business use of single-use… Continue reading

Demonstrators on either side of Trans Mountain debate clash in Vancouver

Crowd heard from member of Indigenous-led coalition that hopes to buy 51% of expansion project

Grieving B.C. mom hopes Facebook message leads to new investigation into son’s Surrey homicide

Criminal Justice Branch didn’t lay charges, concluding no substantial likelihood of murder or manslaughter conviction

Comox man arrested after gun incident at Quinsam Lake

43-year-old man from the Comox area has since been charged with multiple offences

B.C.’s measles vaccination program gains traction in May

More than 15,000 doses of the MMR vaccine has been administered across the province

B.C. farmers concerned Agricultural Land Reserve changes choking their livelihood

Dozens voice concerns at special meeting hosted on Vancouver Island

Most Read