People normally associate DUI with alcohol or illicit drugs. However, driving under the influence is not limited to just alcohol or illegal drugs. Anything that alters a person’s mental state and affects their ability to drive can lead to a DUI charge. In fact, the opioid epidemic has spread to our nation’s highways, with the number of fatal car crashes involving a driver who was high on opioids tripling over the past 25 years. The same study concluded that taking an opioid pain reliever and then driving more than doubled the odds of getting into a fatal two-vehicle crash.
The Wayne Patch reports on a fatal accident caused by a man who was allegedly overdosing on opioids at the time of the crash.
29-year-old Jason Vanderhee, of Glenwood, has been charged with death by auto, aggravated manslaughter, and driving while intoxicated within 1,000 feet of a school, according to the Prossaic County District Attorney’s office.
Three people were killed when Vanderhee lost control of his vehicle at about 8:46 a.m. crashed into a gas station, striking two vehicles and a gas station attendant.
50-year-old Jon Warbeck and his 17-year-old son, Luke Warbeck were inside a Camaro that had its roof sheared off in the crash. Also involved in the crash was gas station attendant Lovedeep Fatra, 22. All were pronounced dead at the scene.
It is unclear whether the other vehicles involved in the crash were parked or were in motion when Vanderhee crashed into the vehicles.
Emergency responders had to administer Narcan to Vanderhee at the scene. He only suffered from minor injuries in the crash.