Paramedics recount 2015 fatal crash

(Newswatch Group/File)

CORNWALL — An Ottawa paramedic says the crash which led to the death of Morrisburg lawyer Peter Remillard was “tremendous.”

Jeffrey Nelson told court Tuesday he recalled the damage to the driver’s side wheel of Remillard’s BMW because he drove a similar vehicle. The wheel was ripped off which “surprised me,” he testified on the second day of the careless driving trial.

Catriona Kirkwood, 42, of North Dundas has pleaded not guilty.

Since the Ottawa Paramedic Service were advanced life support paramedics, the two-man team took care of Remillard while another crew from Cornwall-SDG Paramedic Services was assigned to Catriona Kirkwood’s Dodge Journey.

The two vehicles collided head-on in a curve on County Road 7, south of Chesterville, on Feb. 24, 2015.

Nelson told court it was bitterly cold that day so there was concern about hypothermia.

The paramedic did note Remillard’s condition was worsening during the time it took to free him from the SUV. It was a “difficult extrication” with the lawyer’s legs pinned in the driver’s seat and also suffering from multiple fractures.

Paramedic David Kitchen, Nelson’s EMS partner, told court from the time they arrived on scene at 9:20 a.m., it took until 10:10 a.m. to actually leave the scene due to the difficulty of the extrication.

Once Remillard was out, emergency responders had to take him from the vehicle on a downhill slope in deep snow and climb out of the ditch, since the driver’s door of the BMW was facing the ditch.

While transporting him to the Winchester hospital, Remillard became unresponsive. “He had no pulse…VSA (vital signs absent)…no heartbeat, no respiration,” Kitchen recalled.

Another paramedic, leading the ambulance to the hospital due to the severity of the injuries and having Ottawa paramedics possibly unfamiliar with the area, jumped in the ambulance to help with CPR, Kitchen testified.

Remillard would later be pronounced dead at the Winchester District Memorial Hospital.

The trial continues this afternoon.