'Unsteady' Pembroke dentist sought gum, witness testifies

A Pembroke dentist charged in a 2011 fatal crash near Arnprior looked like she was going to lose her balance and later asked for gum, a witness testified.
Two men who came upon a fatal crash scene on Hwy. 17 testified on accused after crash. 1:32

A Pembroke dentist charged with impaired driving in the death of an Ottawa man appeared unsteady and asked for gum after the crash, a witness testified today.

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.

Dan Quinn, a retired school teacher, told the court Tuesday he was driving on Highway 17 near Arnprior with two golfing buddies when they heard a head-on crash up ahead.

Quinn told the court he saw Natsis near her black Ford Expedition after the crash and he approached her.

He then said Natsis was within four feet of him when he smelled alcohol. Quinn also said she appeared "unsteady" and it looked like she was "going to lose her balance."

Not slurring words, witness says

Natsis was not slurring her words, Quinn testified, when she told his friend the victim was "in my lane."

Quinn also told the court Natsis asked his friend for a piece of gum.

A second witness testified Natsis appeared to be unsteady. But both he and Quinn admitted, under cross-examination by defence lawyer Michael Edelson, "one would be shaky" after a violent crash, especially after an air bag hit them in the face.

On Monday, CBC News obtained parking lot video from a surveillance camera at the Crazy Horse bar where Natsis had been the night of the crash. It showed a black SUV backing into another parked vehicle before driving away.

A server at the bar testified Natsis was driving that SUV.

The case will resume Wednesday, its seventh day, with police officers and paramedics who responded to the crash.