The Crown is proceeding with charges against a Lower Nicola man who left his injured companion out in the woods after their car crashed one evening back in April.

Sgt. Norm Flemming informed the Herald the Crown has approved charges of dangerous driving causing bodily harm and failing to stop at the accident scene involving bodily harm.

Police recommended a charge of criminal negligence, Flemming said.

“Generally, they’ll go with the charges that they have the best opportunity to prove,” Flemming said.

The charges going to court come with potential jail time, he said, noting they’re criminal in nature and not under the motor vehicle act.

At about 8 p.m. on the night of April 25, two men — one a 39-year-old, the other a 29-year-old — were driving on a trail near Highway 8, about 20 kilometres west of Merritt.

Somehow, their Toyota Rav rolled down a steep embankment. The pair were able to crawl from the vehicle before it burst into flames.

The younger man suffered a broken leg and other injuries, but the older one was able-bodied enough to return home.

He did just that, leaving his companion stranded in the woods.

At the time, police told the Herald they were not sure how he got back to his home.

The wife of the younger man called police at about 5 a.m. after speaking with her husband’s companion when he returned home.

“I don’t know what time he got home, so if he just showed up and went to her and told her, or if he went home and she went over and found him, I don’t know how that went down exactly,” RCMP Const. Tracy Dunsmore told the Herald a few days after the incident.

Temperatures that night dropped to about -5 C degrees in Merritt by 5 a.m. or -7 C degrees with windchill.

Search and rescue members were able to locate the man by about 6 a.m.

The 39-year-old did not accompany search crews to locate his neighbour, who spent the next few days in the hospital.

The older man is expected to make a first appearance in court on Dec.1.