A drunk driving case against Buffalo Sabres forward Ryan O’Reilly ended almost as quickly as it began.
The case was dismissed by a judge Monday morning.
O’Reilly, 25, appeared in a London courtroom this morning. He pleaded not guilty to charges of impaired driving and care or control over 80 mgs after a green Chevrolet pickup truck collided with a Tim Horton’s in Lucan just after 4:00 a.m. last July.
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.
Looks like a window has been smashed out of the Lucan Tim Hortons. (cc: Ryan O'Reilly impaired driving reports) pic.twitter.com/tUafQzJntT
— Marty Thompson (@martythompson_) July 14, 2015
The vehicle was located on Harold Court, while both occupants were found on Main Street.
Police determined that the driver had been drinking alcohol. He was arrested, transported to an OPP detachment for breath testing, then released on a promise to appear.
O’Reilly’s lawyer, David Humphrey, tells AM980 his client has always maintained his innocence.
“The case was always a single witness identification case in the sense that only one witness purported to be able to identify Mr. O’Reilly as the driver, something that he has always disputed,” said Humphrey. “Although that witness may have been giving her honest recollection, it was clearly a mistaken recollection on a fundamental issue. Given that she’d been so thoroughly contradicted on something as basic as that, the Crown and the court recognized that whatever identification evidence she gave could not be viewed, standing alone, as reliable.”
Humphrey says O’Reilly is relieved the ordeal is over.
“He is very happy with the way things unfolded and with the result that was achieved in very short order, including the ultimate dismissal of the charges. He is very grateful for the management of the Sabres, he’s very grateful to his family and to his many fans who have been tremendously supportive throughout this whole process.”
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.”