Overdoses occurring on Interstate 94

  • Source: Racine Journal Times
  • Published: 09/13/2016 02:12 AM

Overdoses have overtaken car crashes as the leading cause of accidental death in Wisconsin. And in a growing number of cases, local overdoses are becoming the cause of crashes, according to local authorities. The Union Grove-Yorkville Fire Department has seen multiple crashes on Interstate 94 in the past six months that involved overdoses, according to assistant chief of EMS Dan Russell, although he did not have exact figures readily available. “Some scenes have been on the freeway or near the freeway,” Russell said. “They get on the freeway after injecting or snorting it and end up rubbing against the side wall until someone calls it in.” Opioid overdose has been the leading cause of injury deaths in Wisconsin since 2009, when it surpassed car crashes, according to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services. Town of Raymond Fire Chief Adam Smith, whose department responds to crashes on the northern part of I-94 in Racine County, said crashes haven’t been prevalent in his jurisdiction. However, he has seen them in the past. “We have also had a few in our township that have been an issue,” Smith said. The Racine County Sheriff’s Office also responds to calls on the Interstate. Racine County Sheriff’s Deputy Andrew Willis, who is one of four drug recognition experts in the office, said the dangers of these incidents affect not only the user but the drivers around the user as well.


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