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Phil Youngclaus, 27 year old hockey player for the Gwinnett Gladiators, is currently in satisfactory condition at Northeast Georgia Medical Center in Gainesville following a possibly alcohol-related car accident. The details of his injuries have not yet been released.

Youngclaus was prepared to enter his fifth year as a professional hockey player. Originally from Massachussetts, he said he “loved it” in Georgia, and, considering his playing statistics, that affection made a lot of sense; last season he completed seven assists in just over thirty games as a defenseman. His performance was good enough to earn him the distinction of first player drafted to the Gladiators for the upcoming season. “He’s a good kid,” said Jeff Pyle, head coach of the Gladiators.

According to police reports the DUI car accident took place on Sunday, August 9th, as Youngclaus drove his 2005 Ford F-150 down Stout Springs Road. At approximately 2:30 am the car drifted off the road, quickly losing traction and then somersaulting several times, ejecting Youngclaus before eventually colliding with a nearby fence and mailbox. According to reports, injuries were likely sustained to Youngclaus’ head and back.

Georgia police cited Youngclaus for four offenses: “DUI, possession of open container in a vehicle, failure to maintain lane and for not wearing his seatbelt” (Gwinnett Daily Post). Directly following the incident, Youngclaus had refused to consent to a blood alcohol exam.

Youngclaus’ future as a hockey player remains in the balance. Although the circumstances of the car wreck are certainly unfortunate, Pyle, the coach of the Gladiators, offered some much-needed perspective: right now, he points out, Youngclaus is simply “lucky to be alive.”

For more information, visit the Gwinnett Daily Post article here.

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