An Ottawa paramedic who treated the victim of a 2011 fatal crash was questioned by the defence on whether he smelled alcohol on the crash victim, as the impaired driving trial of a Pembroke dentist continued.

Dr. Christy Natsis is charged with impaired driving causing death, dangerous driving causing death and exceeding the legal blood-alcohol limit in a 2011 head-on crash that killed 50-year-old Bryan Casey of Ottawa.

Natsis has pleaded not guilty to all three charges. 


The crash on Hwy. 17 between two SUVs left one man dead. (Supplied photo)

On Wednesday paramedic Brock Smith testified he was assigned at the scene to assess Natsis, who was handcuffed and sitting in the back of a police cruiser as emergency workers struggled to remove Casey from his vehicle.

Smith said he asked her if she was hurt, and she said no but asked to go to a hospital emergency ward, saying she was suffering from stress.

Powerful smell of alcohol: paramedic

Smith said Natsis could barely walk and had to be supported on the 60-foot walk to the ambulance. He also said she smelled of alcohol and said the smell was so strong the ambulance fan could not get rid of the smell.

Defence lawyer Michael Edelson also questioned Smith about Casey's blood-alcohol level, including whether the man smelled of alcohol and if Smith was aware Casey had alcohol in his vehicle.

Smith answered, "No," to both questions.

When Smith's partner went to check on the status of Casey, Natsis asked why the ambulance was not leaving, the paramedic told the court.

Smith said he explained the situation and Natsis looked away and soon asked to speak with a lawyer.

Smith also told court the crash on Hwy. 17 was the worst he had ever seen. He testified while driving his ambulance down the Queensway, the doctor in the back with Casey told him to hurry up.

Earlier this week, a surveillance video obtained by CBC News showed a black SUV backing into a parked car when leaving the Crazy Horse bar. Employees of the bar testified Natsis was behind the wheel.

Dan Quinn also told the court Tuesday Natsis was "unsteady" and it looked like she was "going to lose her balance." But when pushed by the accused's defence lawyer, Michael Edelson, Quinn admitted anyone would look unsteady after a serious crash.