(Buffalo, NY) After several days of jury selections, the trial of 56-year old Dr. James Corasanti has begun.
The Getzville doctor faces several felony charges in connection with the hit-and-run death of 18-year old Alexandria Rice on July 8, 2011.
Prosecutors say the doctor was intoxicated and texting when he hit the teenage girl while she rode a "long-board" on Heim Road in Amherst around 11:20pm.
During opening statements, prosecutor James Bargnesi said it was the doctor's "stupid, selfish, and avoidable choices" that directly led to the death of the teenager.
Bargnesi said witnesses will testify that they saw Corasanti's car speeding and driving too close to the curb.
Prosecutors painted a picture of the defendant which included heavy drinking hours before the crash, excessive speed, texting multiple people on his iPhone while driving, and tampering of evidence.
Defense attorney Joel Daniels argued that Alexandria Rice was not wearing reflective clothing and may have been riding the "long-board" in a way that made her hard to see.
The broken "long-board" was displayed in court and co-defense attorney Tom Burton pointed out that it was dark colored with no reflective markings.
The defense says they plan to call witnesses to testify that the teen girl was riding her "long-board" without regard to traffic.
Thursday afternoon, Alex Rice's father testified that she was on her way to help him with his music business at the time of her death.
Alex's boyfriend testified that he offered to give her a ride from her job, but she refused.
A co-worker testified that he often skate-boarded with Alexandria and he felt her skills were quite good.
Under cross examination by the defense, he admitted that there were times when they smoked 'pot' together.
Previously, the defense had raised the idea that marijuana use by the victim may have played a role in her operating the "long-board" erratically.