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

Mission-Mastqui-Fraser Canyon MP Jati Sidhu to run for federal re-election

The Liberal candidate has officially announced he will be on the ballot this October

Fatal railway crossing accident in Chilliwack highlights risks for people in wheelchairs: TSB report

Transportation Safety Board points to ‘persistent risks faced by persons using assistive devices’

Tractor exhaust pipe causes fire on Agassiz field

Agassiz fire crews were on scene around 1 p.m. Tuesday

Still no decision on cannabis stores in Kent following public hearing

Staff will be bringing the bylaws back to council to include new amendments for location

Yale man arrested after fleeing police in downtown Hope

Man arrested on three outstanding warrants after being caught in stolen van

VIDEO: Agassiz remembers local officer at grave-marking ceremony

Montague White-Fraser had been buried in the Old Cemetery for 92 years without a headstone

B.C. wine industry legend Harry McWatters dies

Among his accomplishments, McWatters founded the province’s first estate winery, Sumac Ridge Estate

Provincial health body refuses to release full findings of cancer triage system audit

Information and Privacy Commissioner asked to review redactions

Southern resident killer whale died of blunt trauma, likely from ship

J34 was found more than two years ago near Sechelt, but the necropsy findings have now been released

B.C. teens wanted in double homicide, suspicious death spotted in Manitoba

Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky were thought to have been seen in the Gillam area

VIDEO: Man found dead near B.C. teens’ truck could be linked to a double homicide

RCMP said they are looking for Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, of Port Alberni

VIDEO: Young couple found dead in northern B.C. had been shot, police say

Chynna Noelle Deese of the U.S. and Lucas Robertson Fowler of Australia were found along Highway 97

Wrestling legend finds his wedding dance groove in B.C.

Professional wrestler Chris Jericho posted on social media that he was in Penticton recently

Vancouver Public Library banned from Pride parade after allowing controversial speaker

Vancouver Public Library allowed Meghan Murphy to book space for an event at the library in January

Most Read