An Ohio father faces multiple charges after passing out behind the wheel from a heroin overdose, with his two young children in the car, before crashing in a residential neighborhood.
Primrose Drive residents in Mentor-on-the-Lake, Ohio, witnessed a red sedan driving across multiple front lawns Thursday evening, narrowly missing homes and trees. After damaging six properties in the neighborhood, the vehicle smashed into a telephone poll, ending the rampage, FOX 8 reported.
Responding officers revived the unidentified driver from a suspected heroin overdose with two doses of opioid overdose reversal drug Narcan. The man was driving with his six-month-old and three-year-old sons strapped in car seats, who escaped the ordeal uninjured. (RELATED: Car Crashes Linked To Fentanyl Jump 304 Percent Over The Past Decade)
“All of the sudden, I hear my mother; I hear my mom go ‘car, car, car’, and here comes this red car traveling through the yards,” Primrose Drive resident Kim Desotelf told FOX 8. “It’s upsetting. How could people choose that, because we know what it was, over their children? Bottom line, made a choice; bad choices are being made.”
The unidentified father is charged with child endangerment and operating a vehicle while under the influence.
The opioid epidemic is increasingly causing dangers on American roadways, recent data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) database reveals. Traffic accidents linked to fentanyl are experiencing a particularly sharp increase — up 304 percent since 2007 — according to an analysis by Alcohol.org, a website for information on alcohol abuse.
While fentanyl accidents had the largest spike, the report also found steep rises in accidents linked to a range of other substances over the past decade. Traffic fatalities linked to the painkiller oxycodone rose by 134 percent over the same period.
Opioids are killing a record number of people in Ohio, which now has the second highest death rate from drug overdoses in the U.S. behind only West Virginia, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The state lost 4,329 residents to drug overdoses in 2016 — a 24-percent increase over 2015 — largely due to a massive influx of the synthetic opioid, fentanyl. Nearly 40 per 100,000 people now die from drug-related overdoses in Ohio.
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