Overdose behind the wheel caught on camera in Knoxville

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) - A drug overdose behind the wheel was caught on camera Wednesday afternoon. Two men crashed in the KARM Thrift Store parking lot on Hall of Fame Drive in Knoxville.  First responders revived them by using the life-saving drug called naloxone.

According to the district attorney's office, suspected overdose deaths so far this year in Knox County total 38. For the month of January, there were 32 suspected deaths. In February, there were six.

Marisa Cannida and Detriedah Welsh were driving on Hall of Fame Drive Wednesday when a car almost hit them and crashed into the KARM Thrift Store parking lot. They found two men unconscious inside the car so they called 911.

"I see his head all the way back to the seat. It's just way back," said Cannida.

Cannida and Welsh took video of police trying to wake them up. Paramedics arrived and first responders used naloxone to revive them. The Knoxville Police Department said they were using heroin. Both men were transported to a hospital.

"Every life matters and I want to make sure people understand that clearly," said Knoxville Police Chief David Rausch.

Chief Rausch's department deployed naloxone 78 times last year. 50 were at a home, apartment or motel. The other 28 were at public spots like highways or convenience stores. That is 35 percent.

"This is a disease and what happened is a result of their disease," he said.

Cannida and Welsh felt this poor decision could have hurt even more people. However, they are thankful their quick actions gave the men a second chance.

Chief Rausch said to call 911 if you see someone unconscious and believe he or she has overdosed.


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