News Local

Liquor licence suspended at Calabogie bar in probe of Renfrew hockey fatalities

By Kelly Egan

Ontario’s alcohol regulator has suspended the liquor licence of a bar in Calabogie in the aftermath of a car crash early Friday that killed two junior hockey players and critically injured a third.

A large sign posted in the front door of Shooter’s Bar and Grill on Calabogie Road said the suspension went into effect on Oct. 30. The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario cited the bar for seven alleged infractions, including allowing an “apparent” minor to have liquor on the premises and failing to verify that “apparent minors” met the legal drinking age of 19.

All four occupants in the vehicle, all members of the Renfrew Timberwolves of the Central Canada Hockey League 2, were 18 at the time of the crash.

While the commission did not specifically say one or all of the teenagers were in the bar on the night of the crash, it made it clear the suspension arose out of the Ontario Provincial Police investigation into the crash. OPP have said alcohol was a factor in the crash.

“As a matter of practice, the AGCO works closely with local and provincial authorities in response to incidents such as these and shares information,” wrote senior communications adviser Ray Kahnert.

“We have been in contact with the local OPP detachment and the AGCO is continuing to collect information for its own regulatory review. In the interim, as a result of information it has received, the AGCO has taken the following action, under the authority of the Liquor Licence Act (LLA). “

He goes on to list a number of alleged infractions, concluding, ” … the Registrar issued an Order to immediately suspend the liquor licence of Shooters Bar and Grill, for reasons of public interest and safety.”

Among the other alleged offences were permitting drunkenness, promoting “immoderate” consumption, supplying liquor to apparent intoxicated persons, permitting alcohol to be removed from the liquor premises and failing to “maintain control” of the premises.

The operators of the establishment, on the outskirts of the village, could not immediately be reached Tuesday. The premises were locked when a reporter arrived and the large parking lot was empty.

It is a large, barn-style of a restaurant and bar. Inside, there were long tables visible in the dark and a handful of Halloween decorations hung on windows. A roadside sign advertised Thursday as wing night.

Brandon Hanniman of Admaston/Bromley Township was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash, where a strike a rock cut, about two kilometres from Burnstown and about 15 kilometres from Calabogie, just past midnight on Oct. 27. The other three were taken to hospital.

The junior B Timberwolves, who play in the CCHL2, confirmed on Saturday that a second player, Alex Paquette, had perished, while a third, Ben Scheuneman, remained in intensive care. The fourth, Jake McGrimmon of Renfrew has been released from hospital.

The period of suspension for the bar is so far undetermined and it has the right to appeal the order.

To contact Kelly Egan, please call 613-726-5896 or email kegan@postmedia.com

Twitter.com/kellyegancolumn