Heroin linked to crashes, overdoses in Lake Co.

Posted at 8:48 PM, Mar 07, 2016

Wickliffe and Eastlake police both took to social media to inform the public of several car crashes and overdoses linked to heroin in their cities.

On Saturday around 2 p.m., Wickliffe officers were dispatched to a report of a car that hit a median wall on Route 2 eastbound near East 305th Street. 

Officers made contact with the driver, who was not injured. An investigation revealed the man was under the influence of heroin at the time of the crash. A hypodermic needle was found in his possession.

Police arrested the 31-year-old Mentor man for operating a vehicle while intoxicated (on drugs), possession of drug abuse instruments, failure to control, and driving with an expired license. He admitted to police that the crash would not have happened had he not used heroin. 

Wickliffe officers said about 28 hours later, police were dispatched for a car that rear-ended another car at East 305th Street and Lakeland Boulevard. 

Officers arrested the driver of the at-fault car, which was a 32-year-old woman from Mayfield Heights. She was charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated (on drugs), possession of drug abuse instruments, possession of drug paraphernalia, and failure to leave assured clear distance ahead. 

Wickliffe police said in addition to the above two incidents, the agency investigated a similar crash a week prior that involved heroin use and a stolen car. 

"These incidents highlight a danger related to heroin use that is sometimes overlooked; impaired driving," Wickliffe police said in a Facebook post published on Monday

Eastlake police also took to Facebook on Monday to share information about two suspected heroin overdoses.

Eastlake police said on Saturday, police and the Eastlake Fire Department responded to an unresponsive 41-year-old man and an unresponsive 49-year-old woman. 

The man told officers it was his third overdose in just four days. He overdosed two other times in other cities. Police learned the woman had overdosed twice in three days. 

Police said suspected heroin and syringes were recovered from both incidents. Charges are pending with the results of the crime lab. The man has since entered a rehabilitation center for his addiction.