A Winnipeg man has been convicted in a high-speed drunk-driving crash in which he seriously injured himself and two friends.
Shane Dranez pleaded not guilty at the start of his trial, claiming the Crown couldn't prove he was behind the wheel at the time of the June 2009 incident. But Queen's Bench Justice Lori Spivak disagreed, ruling Friday Dranez is guilty of several charges, including driving impaired causing bodily harm, driving over the legal limit and driving while disqualified.
There were several key pieces of evidence against Dranez, including testimony from his two friends, who said he was responsible. The two men suffered injuries to their ribs, chest and arms and had to crawl out the windows of the crumpled 1996 Chevrolet Camaro, court was told. Both were wearing seatbelts and denied being the driver.
Police also found shoes belonging to Dranez at the pedals of the vehicle, along with a barefoot Dranez nearly 30 metres away after being ejected upon impact with a power pole. He was not buckled in and was fortunate to escape grave injuries.
Police experts said Dranez was likely travelling up to 140 kilometres per hour at the time of the crash on King Edward Street. Blood taken from the scene and later analyzed shows Dranez was nearly triple the legal limit.
He is expected to be sentenced in March. He remains free on bail.
Court heard Dranez and his two friends had spent the evening drinking at a house party, then went to a strip bar where Dranez got into a fight with another patron and got kicked out. He then drove away, with his two friends in the car, at high speed.