Cornwall River King severely injured in Quebec car crash

In this photo supplied by the Cornwall River Kings, Alexandre Gauthier sits on the sidelines during a hockey game. Gauthier was gravely injured Friday, Feb. 26, 2016 in a head-on car crash in northern Quebec. (Cornwall River Kings via Newswatch Group)

SAINT-GEDEON, Que. – A Cornwall hockey player is in a coma with life-threatening injuries after a head-on crash, north of Quebec City.

Alexandre Gauthier, 27, was in a car accident Friday morning, the team said in a statement.

“Obviously hockey takes a back seat at a time like this,” said River Kings general manager Rick Lalonde. “Alex is so well liked in our dressing room and he’s in all of our prayers right now.”

According to reports from TVA and Radio-Canada citing Quebec Provincial Police, Gauthier was very seriously injured after trying to pass a tanker truck on a highway. His car collided head-on with a pickup truck near Saint-Gedeon, Que.

The crash happened around 8 a.m. on Route 169/170, about 230 kilometers north of Quebec City.

Pictures from the area show snow drifts across the highway and whiteout conditions next to the wreckage. Road conditions were said to be bad at the time, according to police.

Gauthier was acquired from Jonquiere in the middle of January in a blockbuster deal. He had played six games with the River Kings.

“Alex and his entire family are in our thoughts and prayers at this time,” said owner Steve Moreau.