A professional hockey player who had just signed a new contract to play a third year with the Gwinnett Gladiators was seriously injured earlier this week in a car accident. The Georgia State Patrol believes the crash was alcohol-related. The Gwinnett Daily Post reported on Monday that Gwinnett Gladiators defender Phil Youngclaus, 27, refused to provide a Georgia State Patrol trooper with a sample of his blood for an alcohol test, and was cited for DUI, possession of an open container in a vehicle, failure to wear a seatbelt, and failure to maintain lane.
Detailed information on Youngclaus’ condition was not available, but it was reported that he may have broken his back in multiple places. The trooper reporting on the accident also noted that he had obvious injuries to his head. Youngclaus was ejected from the vehicle after his truck flipped and rolled after veering onto the road’s shoulder. Youngclaus was hospitalized at Northeast Georgia Medical Center in Gainesville.
In June, the Gladiators announced that Youngclaus had signed a new contract to begin a third season with the team. At the time, he said he loved being in Georgia and loved the fans and playing with the team and was excited to be starting a new season with the Gladiators. The head coach for the Gladiators told the Gwinnett Daily Post that he hadn’t visited the hospital as of Monday but said that his player is a “good kid” and he thinks that he’s lucky to be alive.
Police: Gladiator hurt in DUI crash (Gwinnettdailypost.com)