A Calgary-based transport company has had its safety fitness certificate suspended by the provincial government in connection with the ongoing investigation into Friday’s fatal crash in Saskatchewan that left members of the Humboldt Broncos dead or severely injured.
On Tuesday, Sukhmander Singh, the owner of Adesh Deol Trucking Ltd., confirmed in a telephone interview with CTV Calgary that it was one of his company's trucks that had collided with the Humboldt Broncos team bus.
Singh told CTV that the driver of the truck, who he did not name, is a good guy who had been with the company for about a month. Singh confirms that the truck was hauling a load of peat moss destined for a location in Melfort, Saskatchewan at the time of the crash.
The crash at the intersection of Saskatchewan’s Highway 35 and Highway 335 on April 6, 2018, , south of the town of Nipawin, saw the tractor-trailer, operated by Adesh Deol Trucking Ltd., collide with the bus. The northbound bus had the right of way at the time as westbound traffic encountered a stop sign at the juncture.
The collision decimated the SJHL team’s roster and coaching staff as 15 people died and 14 were sent to hospital.
Singh says he drove to Saskatoon on Saturday, picked up his driver and brought him back to Calgary. According to Singh, the driver has not said much about the incident and is not eating nor sleeping well.
The driver, according to Singh, had recently completed a 15-day training course and had been driving solo for around two weeks.
According to the Government of Alberta, Adesh Deol Trucking Ltd., which began operating in the fall of 2017, has had its safety fitness certificate suspended pending the results of an Alberta Transportation investigation.
Investigators are attempting to determine if the driver of the truck had their visibility reduced by the sun as well as other factors that may have contributed to the deadly crash.
“We’d be looking at the inspections that we may have done in the past on the vehicles,” said Brian Mason, Alberta’s Minister of Transportation. “We look at the log books to determine whether the drivers have taken the appropriate rest and those things. We have rules that we enforce for all trucking operating within Alberta registration.”
Mason says in the company’s brief history there have been no violations committed within Alberta. RCMP continue to investigate the fatal highway crash.
With files from CTV's Camilla Di Giuseppe and Jordan Kanygin
**Correction: The original version of this story indicated the truck struck the bus. The exact nature of the collision remains under investigation.**