Former Washington Capitals defenseman John Erskine was charged by Ontario Provincial Police for his role in a collision in May that left him critically injured. (Toni L. Sandys/Washington Post)

The Ontario Provincial Police have charged former Washington Capitals defenseman John Erskine in connection with a May crash that left him severely injured, according to the Kingston Whig-Standard newspaper.

The Ontario native was driving west on Highway 401 in a black Ford pickup truck when it crossed into the eastbound lane and collided with a tractor trailer. The tractor trailer’s driver wasn’t hurt.

Erskine but was arrested on-site then transported to a hospital by paramedics.

Erskine’s former agent, Pat Morris, told TSN that his former client attended a junior hockey game earlier that night. Morris told TSN that Erskine had been severely injured in the incident, but he did not have additional information at the time.

Following an investigation of the crash, authorities charged Erskine with “dangerous driving, impaired driving and operating a motor vehicle with more than the legal limit of alcohol in his system,” per the Whig-Standard. He was released from police custody and is scheduled to appear in court in November.

Selected in the second round of the 1998 NHL Draft by the Dallas Stars, Erskine spent the majority of his 12-year NHL career with the Washington Capitals. He played in Washington from 2006 through 2014 and missed the 2014-15 season while he recovered from neck surgery. He scored 12 goals and had 49 points in 350 games with the Capitals.

While working his way back from the neck injury, Erskine got a taste of the retired life, spending quite a bit of time in Kingston.

“When I do retire, I want to continue doing something in hockey,” Erskine said in 2015. “I don’t want to stay at home or do nothing. I want to keep myself busy. I got a taste of it. I like being here, being in the routine, coming, seeing the guys at the rink. … I’d rather leave on good terms. But in the long run my health is going to be number one.”

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