Parents Overdose On Heroin While Driving 9-Year-Old Daughter

REUTERS/David Ryder

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Steve Birr Vice Reporter
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A 9-year-old girl escaped from a near-fatal situation Tuesday after her parents overdosed on heroin while driving their car through Cincinnati, Ohio.

The family was riding in a Jeep when the girl, sitting in the backseat, noticed her father passed out in the passenger seat of the car and her mother slipping in and out of consciousness while operating the vehicle. The girl managed to help her mother pull the car over and put the vehicle in park, before frantically calling her grandmother for help, reports WLWT.

The grandmother, Anna Dove, called the police, who instructed her to tell the girl to call 911 so they could track her phone to the location of the vehicle.

“She was very frantic, scared, crying, screaming, ‘Grandma, I’m going to die,'” Dove told WLWT. “She saved two lives and her own and I’m so proud of her.”

A police dispatcher spoke to the girl as authorities worked to find their location. She described her surroundings as best she could to help narrow the search. The girl told the dispatcher she found a kitten on the street that liked her, which was in the car and helped keep her clam until police arrived on scene.

Paula Smith and Charles Dove, the girl’s parents, are both facing charges over the incident.

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.

Officials in Ohio say that opioids are the main driver of a 19 percent spike in the number of kids removed from parental custody for foster care since 2010.

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Steve Birr