Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

Man pleads guilty to drunk driving in fatal 'car-surfing' case

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A Winnipeg man accused in an alleged "car-surfing" case that killed a 23-year-old Elie man no longer faces charges relating to the tragic death.

Paul Mackenzie Gillis, 32, appeared in provincial court this week and pleaded guilty to impaired driving and failing to stay at the scene of an accident on the morning of Feb. 11, 2012.

The Crown dropped charges alleging he was impaired and driving dangerously, causing the death of Brodie Chabot. No reasons for abandoning the more serious allegations were disclosed.

Gillis was charged by RCMP shortly after Chabot died. According to the official RCMP synopsis of the investigation, officers in the Headingley detachment responded to a 3 a.m. 911 call about a man injured on Provincial Road 248 in Elie.

RCMP said they arrived on scene to learn Chabot had been riding on the outside of a moving Ford Escape, fell off the vehicle and was severely injured.

He was rushed to hospital for emergency treatment but died, police said.

RCMP said they couldn't call the accident an example of car surfing, but said the victim was "definitely hanging on the outside of the vehicle."

They confirmed an arrest was made in the case but declined to identify the suspect pending his first court appearance down the road.

Chabot worked at Chabot Implements in Elie and lived with a cousin in the small, close-knit, town.

No facts of the charges Gillis admitted to were read into the record by prosecutors.

Gillis will be sentenced later this year. A date will be set on June 2.

james.turner@freepress.mb.ca

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