Local
3:49 pm
Mon April 30, 2012

Residents, first responder testify at Corasanti trial

Testimony resumed today in the vehicular manslaughter trial of Dr. James Corasanti, who is accused of fatally striking teenager Alexandria Rice last July and then leaving the scene of the accident.

This morning, residents along Heim Road in Amherst where the collision occurred described hearing an unusual noise. One called it a "loud thump" and the other said it was a "horrific" noise and a "jarring sound," unnatural for the quiet neighborhood.  She said it's not unusual for bicyclists and skateboarders to use the bike lane on Heim. 

Amherst Police Officer Greg Huller was the first to arrive on the scene at 11:22 p.m., just three minutes after a 9-1-1 call. Huller said Rice's pupils were unresponsive to a flashlight test. He said her neck "didn't look right" and was hesitant to move her due to the severity of her injuries. He also said he detected no pulse.  Getzville Fire arrived soon thereafter and took over the scene.

Both Huller and one of the neighbors said Heim Road was well-lit at the time of the mishap. Huller said he had no problem seeing the victim or her belongings without a flashlight.

Erie County District Attorney Homicide Bureau Chief James Bargnesi said during opening statements last week Dr. Corasanti was drunk and texting moments before his car struck and killed Rice. Defense Attorney Joel Daniels said Corasanti is not guilty of any crimes and will be testifying in his own defense.