MELFORT, Sask.—The wife of the Humboldt Broncos' head coach says she forgives the truck driver who caused a crash that killed her husband and 15 others.
Darcy Haugan's wife, Christina, told court that while she's angry the crash claimed the life of the father of her two young children, she doesn't have ill will toward Jaskirat Singh Sidhu.
“I want to tell you I forgive you,” she said in court today.
Haugan told Sidhu she hopes he learns more about what an incredible man her husband was.
Sixteen people died and 13 were injured last April when Sidhu blew a stop sign and drove into the path of the Humboldt Broncos' team bus.
Sidhu has admitted to causing the high-speed crash and has pleaded guilty to 29 counts of dangerous driving.
The victims and their families are getting a chance to address court this week before Sidhu is sentenced.
About half of 75 victim impact statements still are to be submitted.
Yesterday, Scott Thomas told court that he struggled to write a victim impact statement and chose instead to write a letter to his dead son.
“Hi son. It's Dad. God we miss you,” Thomas said in front of about 100 people in a makeshift courtroom in a gymnasium in Melfort, Sask.
“Every day your mom waits for you to come through the door looking for her to make you a pot of Kraft Dinner.”
He described how his son's friends visited last year and cried while going over old photos, and how the family went to Florida for Christmas instead of Grandma's cabin because they couldn't stand to be there without him.
He also broke the news that they have bought a new home and sold the one his son grew up in.
“I don't think we can stay there anymore. You are everywhere,” said Thomas.
“Your room, your couch, your gaming TV downstairs, the fridge that you used to walk up to every morning and run your finger from the top of your head to the top of the fridge to see if you had grown taller than the fridge yet.”
Thomas told his son not to worry. They would be taking all of his stuff with them, and that their new house has big walls to hang his photos and hockey jerseys and sticks.
He ended the letter by saying that when a parent loses a child in an instant, they no longer are afraid to die themselves.
“I have to believe that I will meet you somewhere on the other side,” he said.
Other parents, sisters, and girlfriends sobbed and struggled through their statements yesterday.
Some thanked Sidhu for pleading guilty and said they believe he's remorseful. Others said they can never forgive him and don't understand why he didn't obey the stop sign.
Thomas later told reporters that he cried more listening to other people's statements than he did reading his own.
“Because you know what you're dealing with," he remarked. ”And you have an idea what everybody else is dealing with.
“But to hear them articulate it and put it into their words, it's powerful stuff.”