Providence police use Narcan on 2 drivers in 2 days


PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — After a car crash Tuesday afternoon, Providence police say the driver became the second driver in distress they used Narcan on in two days.

Police said James Keach, 24, was driving on Smith Street when his car hit and broke a utility pole. The car then jumped the sidewalk and hit a cement wall.

When officers got access to Keach, they said they used several doses of Narcan, also known as naloxone, a medication used to block the effects of opioids. They were able to revive him and then transport him to Rhode Island Hospital.

Keach was charged with reckless driving, driving on a suspended license, chemical test refusal, and DUI observation and was released to appear in court.

In the back seat of Keach’s vehicle was a 2-year-old boy in a car seat. Rescue crews took him to Hasbro Children’s Hospital as a precaution, but didn’t appear to be hurt.

The previous use of Narcan on a driver in a crash came on Monday night. A van crashed into a restaurant on Plainfield Street and police found the driver unconscious behind the wheel.

In light of those incidents, Eyewitness News checked with the Rhode Island Department of Health’s Joseph Wendelken. They noted an increase in “suspected overdoses” this past weekend, between March 24 and 27. While a typical weekend would see five suspected overdoses, this weekend had 15, according to Wendelken. They’re referred to as “suspected” because drugs haven’t been confirmed in the cases — no toxicology testing has been completed on them.

The Department of Health says, if you or someone you know needs help with drug treatment or recovery, call (401) 942-STOP; the assistance is free, and you don’t need health insurance.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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