Lambton OPP were sent on a lengthy search, time and distance wise, when a Lakeshore man crashed his truck and fled the scene near Oil Springs last year.
But there were no fleeing the consequences for Aaron Doucet, 25, as he appeared in Sarnia Court this month to answer for his behaviour.
It was an early evening last April as Doucet travelled north on Oil Heritage Road. But just short of reaching Oil Springs he crossed into the opposite lane and flipped his Dodge Dakota, the truck coming to rest on its side.
Doucet climbed out of the truck and began running east on Aberfeldy Line. Clad in an orange sweatshirt he was easily visible to witnesses who approached him. Doucet was bleeding from his face but spoke briefly before fleeing into a bush lot and out of sight.
Despite the short interaction the witnesses noted a strong smell of alcohol emanating from Doucet. Multiple alcohol containers littered around the crash side confirmed this fact.
Officers and emergency services eventually arrived on scene but Doucet was long gone. With the assistance of the Canine Unit and OPP Emergency Response Team he was eventually tracked down - more than two hours later and five kilometres down the road.
Doucet was discovered inside a house receiving medical aid. He’d told the unsuspecting homeowners he was injured crashing his ATV. Police arrived and revealed the true story. They also detected a heavy smell of alcohol on Doucet despite hours passed since the crash.
“This is what I get. I rolled my [expletive] truck,” Doucet commented on the ride to Petrolia OPP for booking.
Defence Lawyer Nick Cake says his client has spent the last two years rehabbing after suffering a “catastrophic brain injury” in 2019 when his motorcycle collided with a car.
“Mr. Doucet is working as best he can to put himself back to where he was prior to the accident,” says Cake.
Doucet’s medical circumstances, along with his lack of criminal record, were mitigating factors in a joint submission with Crown Attorney Aniko Coughlan for a $1,200 fine and one year driving ban.
Justice Anne McFadyen accepted the terms.
Alex Kurial, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Independent