A day before Natasha Richardson's scheduled funeral, some are wondering if a medical helicopter might have been able to save the actress, who passed away Wednesday at age 45 after falling on a Quebec ski slope.
The province of Quebec lacks a medical helicopter system, often used in the US and other parts of Canada, to airlift stricken patients to major trauma centers. Montreal's top head trauma doctor told The Associated Press that may have played a role in Richardson's death.
"It's impossible for me to comment specifically about her case, but what I could say is ... driving to Mont Tremblant from the city (Montreal) is a 2 1/2-hour trip, and the closest trauma center is in the city. Our system isn't set up for traumas and doesn't match what's available in other Canadian cities, let alone in the States," Tarek Razek, director of trauma services for the McGill University Health Centre, which represents six of Montreal's hospitals, told the AP.
Razek's comments came on the heels of a celebrity studded wake for Richardson, held Friday afternoon at the American Irish Historical Society in New York City.
A hearse carrying Richardson's body arrived at the society, at 991 Fifth Ave. and E. 80th Street, early Friday. Liam Neeson, her actor-husband, arrived shortly after with their two sons. Her mother, Vanessa Redgrave, sister, Joley Richardson also attended.
Celebrities including Lauren Bacall, Uma Thurman, Ethan Hawke, Sarah Jessica Parker, Ralph Fiennes, Laura Linney, Stanley Tucci and ABC News' Diane Sawyer showed up to mourn the death of the industry-beloved star.
According to the AP, Neeson left society at 8:40 p.m. Friday night, more than six hours after the wake began. A mahogany casket bearing Richardson's body left the society Saturday.
Richardson is scheduled to be buried Sunday during a private funeral service in Millbrook, N.Y., where she belonged to St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Church.
The New York City Medical Examiner's Office conducted an autopsy on the Tony Award-winning actress Thursday. The office ruled her death accidental, citing the cause as an epidural hematoma due to blunt force trauma to the head.
"Liam Neeson, his sons and the entire family are shocked and devastated by the tragic death of their beloved Natasha," the statement said. "They are profoundly grateful for the support, love and prayers of everyone, and ask for privacy during this very difficult time."
Richardson fell Monday at the Mont Tremblant ski resort in Quebec. She initially appeared fine and joked about the fall, but the ski patrol insisted she see a doctor. Richardson declined, the resort said in a statement Tuesday.
Thursday, ABC News learned more details about what happened between when Richardson fell and when she sought medical attention. At 12:43 p.m. Monday, the first call to the paramedics was made. An ambulance arrived at 1 p.m. and transported Richardson from the foot of the mountain to the infirmary by sleigh.