A man fatally overdosed on heroin Friday before crashing his car into another vehicle in Louisville, Ky., adding to fears regarding driving while high in communities across the U.S.
The crash came during a massive spike in overdoses in Louisville, feared to have come from a bad batch cut with more potent substances. Louisville Metro Emergency Services were called for 52 overdoes within a 32-hour time frame between Wednesday and Friday. Officials said the majority of overdoses are related to heroin, but they have not yet released full reports on the cases, reports CNN.
One person overdosed and died behind the wheel of their car, causing a collision with another vehicle. There are no additional reports of injury from the accident, but officials say overdoses behind the wheel are becoming increasingly frequent.
People overdosing on heroin caused three separate car accidents, one injuring a 14-month-old child, in a North Carolina community surging with opioid addiction in late January. High Point Police confirmed three car crashes involving heroin between Jan. 23 and Jan. 27, two with children in the vehicles.
David Presnell II, 23, overdosed behind the wheel Jan. 23, drifting across the centerline in the road before wrecking in an embankment. His 14-month-old son suffered injuries and was taken by authorities to a local hospital. Police said no one involved in the crashes sustained serious injuries.
In another incident Jan. 24, a woman plowed her car into the back of a tractor trailer with a man in the front seat and two children in the back. Police found both adults unresponsive from heroin overdoses and took them for treatment at a local hospital. The children, who escaped uninjured, were placed in the care of family members.
The situation is causing a threat to public safety, exemplified in the near-tragedy Jan. 20 in New York, when a man driving high on heroin narrowly avoided crashing into a daycare center.
“He was less than a mile from his house, drove past the elementary school zone, got past that okay, then drifted off the road and knocked down a telephone pole that was across the street from a daycare center,” James VanBrederode, police chief in Gates, N.Y., told WHEC in January. “You can see the potential problems this causes and that’s at 10:00 a.m.”
Authorities suspect many heroin addicts are using the drug in an area away from their home and attempt to drive back, creating fatal risks for themselves and anyone on the road.
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