Friday, February 04, 2005

Dany Heatley gets 3 Years Probation

This morning, Atlanta Thrashers forward Dany Heatley, 24, was sentenced to three years probation and community outreach (150 public speeches in three years on the dangers of speeding) for his September 29, 2003 crash that killed 25-year-old teammate Dan Snyder. Heatley pleaded guilty to second-degree vehicular homicide, driving too fast for conditions, failure to maintain a lane, and speeding in exchange for the first-degree vehicular homicide charge, a felony, to be dropped. With the current lockout and Todd Bertuzzi incident, many of us in the hockey world have forgotten about this incident, and that Heatley was still awaiting his sentence until today. We were also given some impression that charges would be dropped, after the Snyder family publicly forgave Heatley and offered him support. Heatley and Snyder were good friends, and the Snyder family testified that they didn't want Dany to go to jail or lose his career. They realized that "Dany has a burden that he will carry for the rest of his life," and that was enough punishment for the young star. The plea deal avoided the possibility of Heatley, a Canadian citizen, being deported due to a felony charge, which would've halted his ability to cross the border during the NHL season. A stipulation of the plea is that Heatley will have to go to court and gain approval for what type of car he drives while on probation. Terms include that it cannot have more than six cylinders and will be customized to not exceed 70 miles per hour. Heatley was driving his black Ferrari convertible on a curvy road, returning from a team event, on the night of the crash. Alcohol was not a factor in the accident. Heatley flew in from Switzerland, where he is playing during the lockout, to make his court date.


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