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

Rain a welcome sight for Williams Lake

Things are definitely greening up due to a rainy start to the May long weekend

Station House looking for artists for 2019 group show Uncover It

All pieces for this multimedia exhibit are to be based on the cover art for albums

Boaters in B.C. asked to help stop spread of invasive species

Clean Drain Dry signage is displayed at boat launches across the province

RANCH MUSINGS: Soil Biological tools to build resilience and food security

Sometimes we get world-class speakers to present to the students at Thompson Rivers University

BREAKING: Hotel roof jumper in custody following a standoff with RCMP

A man apparently suffering from drug withdrawal was prevented from jumping off Slumber Lodge Hotel

Kelowna RCMP interrogation video brings home reality in ‘visceral way’: former TRC chairman

Video of Mountie interrogating young Indigenous woman disclosing sexual abuse under fire

B.C. residential school survivor’s indomitable human spirit centre of school play

Terrace theatre company plans to revive Nisga’a leader Larry Guno’s Bunk #7 next year

Canadian killed in Honduras plane crash

The crash happened in the Roatan Islands area, according to officials

B.C. ferry stops to let black bear swim past near Nanaimo

Queen of Oak Bay brakes for wildlife in Nanaimo’s Departure Bay

Mother dead, child in critical condition after carbon monoxide poisoning at Shuswap campground

The woman was found unresponsive insider her tent and the youth was taken via air ambulance to hospital

Canada’s parole officers say correctional system has reached breaking point

About half of Canada’s federal parole officers work inside penitentiaries and correctional institutions

Montreal researchers create audible hockey puck for visually impaired players

Three years ago, Gilles Ouellet came up with the idea for a puck that makes a continuous sound

Former B.C. Greyhound bus drivers head to Penticton for goodbye party

Big bash runs until Sunday, funded by drink cans left behind on busses over the years

Boy, 12, arrested after allegedly pulling a knife on another child at a Surrey park

The child was later released into his parents’ custody as Surrey RCMP continue their investigation

Most Read