OPP officer admits errors in Natsis case
Pembroke dentist Dr. Christy Natsis exits the Ottawa Courthouse with her lawyer Michael Edelson following the first day of her trial for impaired driving causing death, Tuesday. For more community photos please visit our website photo gallery at www.thedailyobserver.ca.
An OPP officer admitted Friday that his report concluding Dr. Christy Natsis caused the crash that killed Bryan Casey includes a string of errors.
And the judge noted he found more potential problems using Google.
Const. Shawn Kelly admitted he mistakenly wrote at one point in his report that Natsis’ Ford Expedition was in her westbound lane right before the collision with Casey’s Dodge truck on March 31, 2011.
That’s the opposite of his ultimate conclusion that she crossed into Casey’s eastbound lane and caused the head-on crash.
Kelly wrote at one point in his report that it happened on Hwy. 17 about 400 m west of White Lake Rd. and at another that it was 150 m west.
“They can’t both be right,” Judge Neil Kozloff said as Kelly tried to explain.
Kozloff called it “grist for the mill” that the name of a towing company and the weight of Casey’s truck in Kelly’s report don’t match what he found using Google.
The officer maintained that “minor revisions” don’t change his conclusions.
“I stand by my report,” he said. “I stand by the opinions that I expressed in my report.”
Kelly testified Friday that Casey saw something that made him brake four seconds before the crash when the vehicles were 171 m apart.
That’s based on how long it takes a person to see a threat and react plus evidence from the airbag control module in Casey’s truck showing he braked two seconds before impact, slowing from 80 km/h to 34 km/h.
Natsis did not brake, the trial has heard.
The defence had first tried to block Kelly from testifying as an expert arguing he’s biased but Kozloff ruled he’d hear the evidence then decide.
Then the defence applied Thursday to have the judge stay the charges or toss Kelly’s evidence arguing his destruction of a draft report breaches the Pembroke dentist’s right to a fair trial.
Kozloff said Friday that he’ll decide the issue at the end of the trial.
The judge on Monday tossed breath samples showing Natsis’ blood alcohol level was 2.5 times the legal limit, finding another OPP officer violated her right to talk to a lawyer.
There’s no end in sight for the legal wrangling.
The trial has already run for six weeks when it was set for four. Six days are set aside next month but prosecutor John Ramsay said Friday that three or four more weeks are now needed.