Rob Ramage's blood alcohol level was 'toxic'

The blood of former NHL player Rob Ramage had "toxic levels" of alcohol, jurors heard Monday in a Newmarket, Ont., courtroom.

The blood of former NHL player Rob Ramage had "toxic levels" of alcohol, jurors heard Monday, even though an emergency room nurse insisted he showed no signs of being drunk after a deadly car crash.

Nurse Catherine Ramsay's observations dramatically differed from what police saw.

They also contradicted toxicological results obtained several hours after Ramage arrived in hospital after the collision that killed former Chicago Blackhawks defenceman Keith Magnuson.

Ramsay said paramedics told her police believed Ramage had been drinking, but she did not see any telltale signs in his blood pressure, heart rate or motor skills.

His speech wasn't slurred and he didn't have bloodshot eyes.

"He was definitely in a state of shock … he was visibly upset," Ramsay testified Monday in a Newmarket, Ont., courtroom.

"He was in a lot of pain, but responsive to my questions. There were no signs of alcohol consumption."

Ramage, 48, has pleaded not guilty to five criminal charges, including impaired and dangerous driving.

The Dec. 15, 2003, collision in Woodbridge, Ont., also injured Michelle Pacheco. She was driving a Nissan Pathfinder that was struck head-on by Ramage's rented car.

Alcohol on Ramage's breath: York police

Several York police officers previously testified they smelled alcohol in the wrecked car and on Ramage's breath and that his eyes were red.

One officer testified Ramage even admitted his drinking had caused the crash.

Police, paramedics and hospital workers also said Ramage thought it was his former Toronto Maple Leafs teammate Gary Leeman who died in the crash, not Magnuson.

But Ramsay insisted he told her that Magnuson had been his passenger, before she gave him morphine to deaden his leg pain.

Lab technician Linda Stevenson said a further test was ordered after analysis of his blood indicated critical and toxic levels of alcohol.

Ramsay said she wiped his arm with a solution of 70 per cent alcohol before drawing his blood.

The trial continues Tuesday.