Crown rejects diabetes expert testimony in wrong-way crash trial


Michael Grelowski’s had four painful years to think about the tragic wrong-way head-on crash along Highway 11 that sent a mother to the hospital with serious, life-altering injuries.

In closing arguments Friday, Grelowski’s lawyer told the court that based on expert testimony provided by diabetes specialist Dr. Ian Blumer, it’s clear the crash occurred while Grelowski was suffering from neuroglycopenia – a medical condition that left Grelowski unaware of his dangerously low blood glucose level and unable to correct it.

Several witnesses told the court they saw Grelowski behind the wheel of his black SUV traveling south in the northbound lanes of Highway 11 north of Orillia on the night of April 11, 2018.

They described his driving as erratic in the moments leading up to the collision.

Grelowski, a type-one diabetic, crashed his SUV into the white minivan with the woman and her family inside.

Grelowski suffered injuries to his leg and foot and said he does not recall the day’s events.

“This is not a convenient excuse. This is a rational scientific explanation for what occurred,” defense lawyer Erec Rolfe told the court.

The defense referred to Grelowski as being in a compromised state behind the wheel and that his normal brain function was affected by severe hypoglycemia as his blood glucose level was so low it impaired his judgment and understanding of what was happening.

The Crown, however, dismissed the testimony of the diabetes expert. Crown attorney Sarah Tarcza argued Grelowski failed to ensure he had tested himself for blood glucose before driving that night and ignored prior warnings his blood sugar was dropping.

“Possibly, there was this severe episode at that time, but it doesn’t explain the lead-up and the lack of action taken by Mr. Grelowski to alleviate the risk that he had to know he was taking,” she said.

The Crown told the court that Grelowski, while behind the wheel on his way home from work with a colleague about an hour and a half earlier, had drifted out of his lane on two occasions, according to the co-worker, who then took over driving the vehicle.

“Is it possible he went into this severe hypoglycemia? Sure, it’s possible, but the signs were already there, and he should not have continued on,” Tarcza said.

The Crown said Grelowski failed to take appropriate action.

It’s unclear whether Grelowski tested his blood glucose before getting behind the wheel of his SUV after being dropped off by his co-worker in Orillia and what his blood sugar level was in the moments before illegally turning left out of a gas station and onto the ramp driving into oncoming traffic on Highway 11.

Ontario Superior Court Justice Cary Boswell will deliver his judgment decision in late May.

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