WOOD RIVER - Wood River Deputy Police Chief Dan Bunt confirmed two people were revived using Narcan following a collision between a black SUV and a guardrail Wednesday morning.
Bunt said several calls came into the department just before 10 a.m. complaining of erratic and reckless driving near the Hartford Village limits on Illinois Route 3. Bunt said that flurry of calls soon switched from erratic driving to collision with a guardrail. When officers and paramedics from the Wood River Fire Department responded to the scene, Bunt said the female driver was found to be unresponsive and not breathing - apparently suffering from an opiate-based drug overdose.
She was revived by paramedics using Narcan - a drug used to revive people suffering from overdoses. It was once touted as a "miracle drug" due to its instantaneous effect. Because of the increased potency of heroin and the addition of drugs such as Fentanyl, however, some people take several doses to be revived. Bunt said he was unaware of how many doses were administered to the woman involved in this morning's collision.
"[The Wood River Fire Department] carries [Narcan], and they are quick at responding, because they are a full-time station," Bunt said. "Over the last several years, they have brought a lot of people back - some multiple times. [Heroin] is so prevalent here in the Metro East and across the country. It's unreal. It's very cheap, and constantly changing."
A male passenger was taken into custody following the collision for possession of what appeared to be heroin. While in the back of the squad car in custody, Bunt said the male "fell out," becoming unresponsive as well. He was immediately given Narcan as well and was subsequently revived.
Both parties were taken to area hospitals. Charges are still pending lab results, but Bunt expects the woman driving to be charged with driving under the influence and the male to be charged with possession of heroin.
"The heroin epidemic is scary enough," Bunt said. "It's even scarier, though, when these people go out driving while on it."
Neither person's name has been released at this time, and Bunt expects charges at a later date.
The Hartford Police Department also responded to the scene.
Reporter Cory Davenport can be reached via call or text at (618) 419-3046 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.