File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS                                Physiotherapists help Ryan Straschnitzki perform standing exercises following his epidural implant surgery at World Health Hospital in Nonthaburi, Thailand.

File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS Physiotherapists help Ryan Straschnitzki perform standing exercises following his epidural implant surgery at World Health Hospital in Nonthaburi, Thailand.

Injured Humboldt Bronco player launches lawsuit against drivers in deadly crash

Injured Humboldt Bronco player launches lawsuit against drivers in deadly crash

CALGARY — A hockey player paralyzed from the chest down in the Humboldt Broncos bus crash has launched a lawsuit that names both drivers involved in the deadly collision.

Ryan Straschnitzki is seeking damages from the rookie truck driver, Jaskirat Singh Sidhu, who was sentenced to eight years in prison for his role in the crash, the driver of the junior hockey team’s bus, Glen Doerksen, who was killed in the crash, along with the governments of Alberta and Saskatchewan and several others.

“This is a much bigger story than simply Mr. Sidhu travelling through a stop sign on April 6, 2018. And there’s a story behind this as to why we had a number of fatalities and injuries of hockey players on that day,” Straschnitzki’s lawyer, Richard Edwards, told The Canadian Press Friday.

“That’s the story I want to be able to tell on behalf of Ryan.”

The Broncos were heading to a playoff game in Nipawin, Sask., when Sidhu blew a stop sign at a rural intersection, and his semi truck barrelled into the path of the team’s bus.

Sixteen people died and 13 others, including Straschnitzki, were injured.

The statement of claim says Straschnitzki was left paralyzed, suffers severe headaches and has cognitive difficulties, including short term memory loss, anxiety, nightmares and insomnia.

“The actions and/or emissions of all defendants were reprehensible, reckless, malicious, high-handed and demonstrated such a lack of disregard for the health, safety and rights of the Humboldt Broncos that the plaintiff hereby claims punitive damages,” reads the claim, which was filed this week in both Calgary and Saskatoon.

The allegations have not been proven in court and statements of defence have not been filed.

Sidhu pleaded guilty to dangerous driving. During his sentencing hearing, court heard he was driving his truck between 86 and 96 km/h when he blew through the oversized stop sign with a flashing light. His lawyer said Sidhu was inexperienced and had been distracted by a flapping tarp on his load of peat moss.

The Crown said there was no way Doerksen could have avoided the collision. The transport truck was fully in the intersection across all lanes of traffic.

But the lawsuit claims Doerksen may have been speeding. Edwards said there were skid marks from the bus at the crash site, and RCMP estimated it was going between 97 and 110 km/h at the time of the collision.

The speed limit on the highway is 100 km/h.

“The one that we’re getting a bit of criticism for is suing the estate of Glen Doerksen because he’s dead, right. The question is how fast was that guy going?” the lawyer asked.

“I’m not saying Mr. Doerksen takes most of the blame, but … there’s a bigger story here than just someone blowing through the stop sign.”

Edwards said it is clear Straschnitzki needs financial compensation due to the severity of his injuries.

“I don’t at this stage know what Ryan’s claim is worth. We know he’s severely injured, we know it’s going to impact him for the rest of his life,” he said.

Edwards said the Alberta government is named for not regulating and enforcing rules for trucking companies. The company that owned the truck was based in Calgary.

The suit also claims Saskatchewan may not have kept the trees at the intersection cut back properly to maintain clear site lines.

Humboldt Broncos

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

UCP MLA for Lacombe-Ponoka Ron Orr. (File photo)
MLA Ron Orr: Benchmarks were achieved but goalposts were moved

Orr responds to concerns, calls on province to fully open Step 2

Alberta's chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw says Albertans need to keep making safe choices to start bending the curve back down. (Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
One new COVID-19 death in Red Deer, 257 additional cases province-wide

Red Deer sits at 459 active cases of the virus

(Black Press file photo)
Blackfalds continuing its fight for a registries office

The Town of Blackfalds has been fighting for a Registry Service outlet for roughly a decade

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said Thursday that the province may consider a regional approach to loosening COVID-19 restrictions if numbers continue to decline. (photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Province further easing health restrictions

Numbers of people hospitalized and in intensive care has dropped dramatically, says premier

A health-care worker looks at a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at the Palais de Congress site as Quebec begins mass vaccinations based on age across the province, Monday, March 1, 2021 in Montreal.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Nearly 1 million COVID-19 vaccine doses arriving in Canada this week: Anand

Anita Anand says she’s received assurances from the vaccine manufacturer

A vial of some of the first 500,000 of the two million AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses that Canada has secured through a deal with the Serum Institute of India in partnership with Verity Pharma at a facility in Milton, Ont., on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Carlos Osorio - POOL
Federal panel recommends 4-month gap between COVID vaccine doses due to limited supply

The recommendation applies to all COVID-19 vaccines currently approved in Canada

The call is out in Rimbey to sign on with a group that is all about building connections

‘Already, we are building a network where we can rely on each other and help each other out’

FILE - Dolly Parton arrives at the 61st annual Grammy Awards on Feb. 10, 2019, in Los Angeles. The Grammy-winning singer, actor and humanitarian posted a video on Tuesday, March 2, 2021, of her singing just before getting her COVID-19 vaccine shot. Parton donated $1 million to Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee for coronavirus research. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)
‘Vaccine, vaccine’: Dolly sings ‘Jolene’ rewrite before shot

The Grammy-winning legend turned 75 this year

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland speaks about the Fiscal update during a news conference in Ottawa, Monday November 30, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
COVID-19: Wage and rent subsidies, lockdown support to be extended until June

Chrystia Freeland says now is not time to lower levels of support

Many rural seniors are having to travel a long way to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Stettler residents are being told to go to Red Deer, Drumheller or Camrose. (Black Press file photo).
Rural central Alberta seniors have to travel far to get vaccines

Stettler residents are being directed to Red Deer, Drumheller or Camrose clinics

Samantha Sharpe, 25, was stabbed to death at Sunchild First Nation on Dec. 12, 2018. Chelsey Lagrelle was sentenced to 4.5 years in prison for manslaughter in a Red Deer courtroom on Tuesday. Photo contributed
Central Alberta woman sentenced to 4 1/2 years for stabbing friend to death in 2018

Chelsey Lagrelle earlier pleaded guilty to stabbing Samantha Sharpe during argument

Calgary police say they received 80 hate crime complaints between January and November 2020. (Pixabay)
‘Racism is a real problem:’ Muslim women fearful following attacks in Edmonton

So far in 2021, three of seven hate-crime-related investigations have involved Somali-Muslim women

Alberta Minister of Health Tyler Shandro speaks during a news conference in Calgary on May 29, 2020. Shandro says Alberta is considering whether to extend the time between COVID-19 vaccine shots to four months. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Alberta may follow B.C.’s lead on faster rollout of first COVID-19 dose

Tyler Shandro says a committee of COVID-19 experts is analyzing emerging data and a decision is coming

Most Read