A drunk-driving oilfield worker yesterday admitted to sending Edmonton Oiler Matt Greene flying after hitting him with his Jeep outside a Whyte Avenue nightclub.
Sean Robert Brooks, 26, was fined $2,875 and banned from driving for one year after pleading guilty to impaired driving for the 2 a.m. incident on Feb. 26, 2006.
Brooks had been charged with impaired driving causing bodily harm, but court heard the injuries suffered by the burly big-hitting defenceman were not that serious.
Court of Queen's Bench Justice Eric Macklin noted Greene was fortunate to be in top physical shape and likely used to getting hit in his job as a hockey player.
"But, in his position, he is getting hit by individuals, not vehicles," said Macklin.
Court heard Brooks had consumed eight or nine drinks when he got behind the wheel of his Jeep Cherokee and drove north along Gateway Boulevard toward 82 Avenue.
His passenger told police Brooks was showing off by fishtailing the SUV when he lost control, went over the curb and hit Greene, who had been talking with friends outside the Iron Horse Eatery & Watering Hole, 8101 103 St.
Witnesses said Greene was struck in the legs and bounced off the Jeep's hood into a large power box near the sidewalk.
He suffered deep bruises to his legs, a swollen foot, sore ribs, some cuts and a black eye, but no broken bones.
After the collision, Brooks reversed the Jeep into some trees and then accelerated across three lanes of traffic to the other side of the street, where he stopped on the curb.
He then got out of the Jeep and fled on foot.
His passenger remained and helped police contact Brooks, who was arrested at a nearby convenience store.
Brooks had been charged with hit and run, but the charge was dismissed. Court heard Brooks ran away after some of Greene's associates came over to the Jeep.
Brooks, a supervisor with an oil drilling company who recently returned from a work stint in Kuwait, told the judge he will never drink and drive again.
Court also heard a lawsuit filed on behalf of Greene against Brooks is pending.
At the time of the collision, Greene was in his rookie season with the Oilers. He was back on the ice the following day, briefly practising with his teammates.
"That's the hardest hit I've taken in awhile," deadpanned Greene after the practice.
"I'm sore. My lower body is sore. I got hit by a truck."