A police officer examines the rental car allegedly driven by Rob Ramage. ((Saul Porto/Canadian Press))

Former NHL defenceman Rob Ramage was dazed and confused about who was a passenger in his car following a deadly crash, jurors heard Monday in a Newmarket, Ont., courtroom.

" 'How is Gary? How is Gary?' " Ramage asked emergency personnel when he regained consciousness, prosecutor Paul Tait told jurors.

Keith Magnuson, a former defenceman with the Chicago Blackhawks, was Ramage's passenger on Dec. 15, 2003.

Magnuson, 56, died at the scene after a Nissan Pathfinder smashed into the passenger side ofRamage's rented Chrysler Intrepid, whichhad crossed from the east to the westbound lanes in Woodbridge, north of Toronto.

During his 15-year NHL career, Ramage played for eight teams, winning Stanley Cups with the Calgary Flames and Montreal Canadiens, and captaining the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Ramage, 48, who was driving the Intrepid, has pleaded not guilty to five criminal charges.

He has pleaded not guilty to impaired and dangerous driving in the death of Magnuson and not guilty to impaired and dangerous driving causing bodily harm to Michelle Pacheco, the driver of the Nissan.

He has also pleaded not guilty to having too much alcohol in his system to drive that day.

'I'm going to die'

Pacheco told the trial she thought her life was about to end when the Intrepid collided with her vehicle.

"I distinctly remember my car was spinning … I said, 'Oh my God, I'm going to die' … I waited for another impact," Pacheco told jurors.

Pacheco was on her way to pick up her 19-month-old child after work when she saw a car speeding "like a rocket" toward her.

"It was, literally, coming at me diagonally," she said. "I said, 'It's going to hit me head on,' [so]I braced myself.

"It was the oddest thing. It didn't zigzag.

"It made a smooth transition across the lanes. It was accelerating towards me, like a rocket picking up speed."

Pacheco suffered a broken heel and soft-tissue damage to her chest, neck and back in the crash that demolished both vehicles.

Driver Dean Sequeiro and his father, Walter, were in a Honda Civic that was also involved in the crash.

Both testified they thought the Ramage car was travelling fast when it crossed the centre line and clipped their vehicle before smashing into the Pathfinder.

The front of the Nissan collided with the front passenger side of the Intrepid, where Magnuson was riding, court heard.

Alcohol level withheld

Jurors have not been told about Ramage's blood alcohol level, but Tait told jurors in his opening address that a toxicologist will testify that it "substantially exceeded" the legal limit.

York Police Det. Const. Scott McVeigh testified he smelled alcohol in the Ramage car when he tried to find Magnuson's pulse and checked to see if Ramage was injured.

Jurors also saw 24 crash scene photos, including one of an unopened can of beer that was in the foot well on the driver's side of the car.

In cross-examination of York Det. Const. Jeffrey Evans by defence attorney Brian Greenspan, jurors heard that Ramage and Magnuson had left a funeral reception at a golf club in Bolton, Ont., about half an hour before the 5 p.m. ET crash.

The trial continues Tuesday.