Saskatchewan

Parents of Humboldt Broncos player killed in crash sue semi driver, trucking company

The parents of Adam Herold are suing the semi driver, the trucking company and the bus manufacturer involved in the fatal Humboldt Broncos bus collision.

16-year-old Adam Herold was the youngest Broncos player killed in collision

A flower wreath lays on a cross for Adam Herold, a former Pat Canadians player, who died in the Humboldt Broncos bus crash on April 6, 2018. (Susan Ormiston/CBC)

The parents of one of the boys killed in the Humboldt Broncos bus crash are taking legal action.

The statement of claim by Russell and Raelene Herold, on behalf of 16-year-old Adam Herold, was filed at Regina's Court of Queen's Bench on Monday.

The claim alleges negligence by the driver of the semi, Jaskirat Singh Sidhu, the trucking company, Adesh Deol Trucking LTD., and the bus's manufacturer.

On April 6, the Broncos were northbound on Highway 35 heading to Nipawin for their fifth playoff game against the Hawks. 

At an intersection with Highway 335, the bus hit a semi, causing the bus "to rapidly accelerate, its roof to come off and the Bus to overturn onto its side," the claim reads. 

Sixteen people died as a result of the crash and 13 were injured. The driver has since been charged with 16 counts of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing death and 13 counts of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing bodily injury.

Herold was the youngest member of the Broncos and had only been with the team for eight games prior to the accident. In the claim, the Herolds note their son had the potential to play in the big league.

In 2017, he was named captain of the Regina Pats Canadian team.

"Adam had the potential to earn approximately $20-$30 million dollars over the course of his NHL hockey career."

Beyond hockey, they noted he could have taken over and operated the family farm near Montmartre, Sask. 

The Herolds cited "extreme physical and emotional pain and suffering that has caused them to lose significant enjoyment of life."

Adam Herold holds a trophy from his regular season team the Regina Pat Canadians in this handout photo. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Handout, Russell Herold)

The claim alleges the sight lines at the intersection of Highways 35 and 335 — or Armley Corner — are not in accordance with the guidelines or rules established by the Government of Saskatchewan and or the Department of Highways.

It says they are not "sufficient to allow drivers of vehicles traveling on Highway 35 to take evasive action if required to avoid an accident."

The claim says the bus did not have shoulder harness seat belts or early warning safety devices.

The claim calls for several declaratory orders by the court. The Herolds want an order that says The Automobile Accident Insurance Act and the Fatal Accidents Act are "antiquated and do not adequately address the compensation required for victims and their families in relation to accidents that the Humboldt Broncos were subject to."

On Tuesday, an SGI spokesperson said in an email that "based on the facts available to us today, SGI does not have legal grounds to pursue legal action against the trucking company or the driver."

The Herolds want the intersection where the crash occurred declared by the court as unsafe to drive on as it currently is.

They also want the court to declare the intersection unsafe for vehicles heading north on Highway 35.

The claim also calls for a declaratory order for all coach buses carrying sports teams in the province to be equipped with shoulder harness seat belts and other measures like early warning devices.

It also asks for a declaratory order that says all semi drivers ought to pass strict safety tests before they are allowed to haul two "super B trailers" — what Sidhu was hauling — in the province.

The team bus was travelling northbound on Highway 35. The semi-trailer was coming from the east on Highway 335. (CBC )

The family is seeking a multitude of damages — some unspecified — for reasons like medical, funeral and counselling expenses, as well as the loss of earnings.

As of Tuesday morning, a statement of defence had not been filed in court.

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