One year later: Memorial service for those killed in Humboldt Broncos crash

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Truck driver Jaskirat Sidhu walks out of provincial court after appearing for charges due to the Humboldt Broncos bus crash in Melfort, Sask., on Tuesday, July 10, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Kayle Neis

HUMBOLDT, Sask. A memorial service being held today to mark one year since the Humboldt Broncos tragedy will include a moment of silence at 4:50 p.m. _ the exact time of the deadly crash.

Sixteen people were killed and 13 were injured after the Saskatchewan hockey team’s bus collided with a semi driven by a novice trucker who had blown the stop sign at a rural intersection.

The crash struck a chord with hockey-loving Canadians and moved people around the world to put hockey sticks on their front porches in solidarity with the Humboldt community.

More than $15 million was donated for the victims’ families.

The service led by the team’s pastor is being held at the Humboldt arena, where rows of yellow banners hang above the main entrance with the names of all 29 people who were on the bus that day.

Flowers lie at centre ice as people gather for a vigil at the Elgar Petersen Arena, home of the Humboldt Broncos, to honour the victims of a fatal bus accident in Humboldt, Sask. on Sunday, April 8, 2018. A memorial service is being held today to mark the one-year anniversary of the deadly Humboldt Broncos bus crash. Sixteen people were killed and 13 were injured after the Saskatchewan junior hockey team’s bus collided with a semi truck that blew a stop sign at a rural intersection. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Premier Scott Moe says he will attend with his wife, and a spokeswoman from the Prime Minister’s Office says a video message will be played from Justin Trudeau.

“I have two children and, like any parent, I just can’t imagine what these parents are going through, go through, each and every day,” Moe said in an interview Friday.

Organizers are expecting about 3,000 people at the arena and are also preparing for many to visit the crash site at the crossing of Highways 35 and 335.

The Broncos were heading to a playoff game when the collision happened. Handmade crosses and a large collection of mementoes have been left at the intersection and there are plans for a permanent memorial there.

Jaskirat Singh Sidhu of Calgary was sentenced last month to eight years for dangerous driving causing death and bodily injury. Court heard he was an inexperienced driver travelling for the first time in the area.

The three prairie provinces have since made training mandatory for commercial truck drivers and an entry-level national training standard is to be in place next year.