A memorial for the 2018 crash where 16 people died and 13 injured when a truck collided with the Humboldt Broncos hockey team bus, is shown at the crash site on Wednesday, January 30, 2019 in Tisdale, Sask. Saskatchewan’s coroner’s service has released its report into the Humboldt Broncos bus crash and it calls for tougher enforcement of trucking rules and mandatory seatbelts on highway buses. (The Canadian Press/Ryan Remiorz)

‘Much, much slower:’ Coroner promises change after Humboldt mix-up

Saskatchewan’s chief coroner releases report into April 2018 crash.

Saskatchewan’s chief coroner says a public mix-up in identifying two hockey players involved in the deadly Humboldt Broncos bus crash means, in the future, his office will be more careful in releasing names.

“Things will be much, much slower,” Clive Weighill said Monday, as he released his report into the April 2018 crash.

READ MORE: Forgiveness can help healing process in cases like Humboldt tragedy: experts

“We will not identify anybody and put anything out until we are 100 per cent positive.”

One of the six recommendations in Weighill’s report further calls on the Saskatchewan Health Authority to review how dead as well as injured patients are identified in such situations.

The mix-up involved 18-year-old players Xavier LaBelle, originally thought to be killed in the crash, and Parker Tobin, who was thought to be in hospital.

LaBelle’s family had voiced uncertainty in identifying a body they were told was his and dental records had been ordered when he woke up in hospital saying he wasn’t Tobin.

Weighill said the coroner’s office was relying on information provided by hospitals about who the surviving players were and was working through a process of elimination with families to identify the dead.

But the identification process was not fully complete by the time a public memorial was held in Humboldt two days after crash.

“There was a lot of public pressure,” Weighill said. ”There was media pressure, there was social media pressure.

“I can say probably from now on everybody that would come in is going to be a Jane Doe or a John Doe until we have a positive (identity) on each specific person.”

A spokesman from the Saskatchewan Health Authority said the agency accepts the coroner’s recommendation.

“We apologize to all those affected and we will endeavour to do our best to ensure this never happens again,” said spokesman Doug Dahl.

Sixteen people killed last April when a transport truck barrelled through a stop sign at a rural crossroads north of Tisdale and into the path of the junior hockey team’s bus. Thirteen others on the bus were injured.

While truck driver Jaskirat Singh Sidhu has pleaded guilty to dangerous driving and is awaiting sentencing, the coroner’s report officially lists the deaths as accidental.

Weighill also recommended his office develop a mass casualty plan. He said one would be in place by March.

Remaining recommendations were aimed at other government agencies.

The report said the Saskatchewan Ministry of Highways should look at its policy on signs at the intersection where the crash occurred and Saskatchewan Government Insurance should implement mandatory truck driver training.

“A tragedy this size, it can’t just be one thing that went wrong,” said Scott Thomas, whose son Evan was killed.

Thomas said the coroner’s findings are justification for some of the changes that he and other families have been calling for.

He appreciated the recommendations directed to Transport Canada for mandatory seatbelts on highway buses and improving national safety codes for truck driver training and electronic logging.

In December, the Saskatchewan government announced it will make training mandatory for semi-truck drivers starting in March. Drivers seeking a Class 1 commercial licence will have to undergo at least 121 1/2 hours of training.

Stephanie Taylor, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Man accused of Brentwood Bay murder appears in court

Alan Chapman tells judge he wants next court appearance to be “as far away as possible”

Victoria couple seeks community’s help after e-bike stolen for second time

Voltbike stolen from parking garage on Quadra Street

American boat strikes reef, sinks near Oak Bay

Two people rescued from boat headed for Orca Island

Final bell could sound for project that allows Victoria grads to dress in style

Magic Wand must find space to store its prom attire for Greater Victoria students by end of June

Staff recommend major boost to Langford council pay

After 13 years without an increase, mayor’s pay would double over next five years

VIDEO: Acknowledging skeptics, finance minister vows to build Trans Mountain project

Bill Morneau said he recognizes ‘huge amount of anxiety’ in Calgary over future of oil and gas sector

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of June 18

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Do you support the government’s decision to approve the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion?

The federal government announced Tuesday its approval for the Trans Mountain pipeline… Continue reading

Sooke council urged to move faster on off-leash dog park plan

Resident questions why five of seven restricted parks are in Sooke

Driver of stolen vehicle caught after fleeing accident scene in Island community

Section of Chemainus Road closed until suspect located and eventually taken into custody

Home care for B.C.’s elderly is too expensive and falls short: watchdog

Report says seniors must pay $8,800 a year for daily visits under provincial home support program

B.C. ‘struggling’ to meet needs of vulnerable youth in contracted care: auditor

Auditor general says youth in contracted residential services may not be getting support they need

Pair of B.C. cities crack Ashley Madison’s ‘Infidelity Hotlist’

Data from the website reveals Abbotsford and Kelowna hottest spots for cheaters

Life’s work of talented B.C. sculptor leads to leukemia

Former Salmon Arm resident warns of dangers of chemical contact

Most Read