Less than two weeks after signing a seven year contract extension worth $52.5-million, Buffalo Sabres centre Ryan O’Reilly has been charged with impaired driving after a pickup truck collided with a Tim Hortons in Lucan, Ont.
OPP announced Monday that O’Reilly, 24, from Bluewater, Ont., had been charged with driving a motor vehicle while ability impaired (alcohol) and care or control over 80 mgs. He was also charged under the Highway Traffic Act with failing to remain at the scene.
According to Middlesex County OPP, a green Chevrolet pickup truck struck a commercial building on Richmond St. last Thursday morning (July 9) just after 4:00am. An employee of the Lucan Tim Hortons confirmed to AM980 that there had been a motor vehicle incident, but was unaware of the driver’s identity.
After the collision, police say a suspect drove the vehicle southbound on Saintsbury Line, before abandoning it and travelling by foot with another, unnamed, male occupant.
The vehicle was located on Harold Court, while both occupants were found on Main Street.
Police determined that the the driver had been drinking alcohol. He was arrested, transported to an OPP detachment for breath testing, then released on a promise to appear.
“We’re very concerned about the number of impaired drivers out there,” said OPP Constable Liz Melvin. “We encourage everyone to make alternative arrangements and not choose to drive with any amount of alcohol in their system.”
O’Reilly will appear in court in London, Ont. to answer to the charges on August 20. O’Reilly posted an image of a green, 1951 Chevrolet truck on his Instagram account in May. He captioned the photo “Got my new truck.”
On Monday evening, Sabres General Manager Tim Murray released a statement via Twitter:
“We are aware of the reports regarding the incident involving Ryan O’Reilly last week. We are currently in the process of gathering more information and will have no further comment until we have spoken with all parties involved.”
Calls for comment to Newport Sports, O’Reilly’s agency, were not returned.
On Monday afternoon, O’Reilly had deactivated his twitter account.
In 6 years with the Colorado Avalanche in the NHL, O’Reilly has compiled 90 goals and 156 assists. O’Reilly was traded along with Jamie McGinn to the Buffalo Sabres at the end of June.
On July 2, 2015, he signed a seven-year contract extension worth $52.5-million.
O’Reilly was awarded the 2014 Lady Byng Trophy “given to the player adjudged to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability.”
(Photo of O’Reilly from NHL.com) (With files from Tom Fraser and Andrew Lawton)