The overdose crisis continues to hit the province on the streets, but an incident early this morning is fueling speculation it’s happening behind the wheel, too.
Jim Baxter’s a Coast Mountain Bus Company driver who was driving along Columbia Street and East Hastings around 5:30 a.m. when he saw a Volvo station wagon driving erratically.
It wasn’t long before it came to a full stop at a 45-degree angle at the intersection.
He tells Global News of what he witnessed when he got a closer look.
“His hands were dangling on the side, his mouth was open, his eyes were closed, and he was completely head straight over the wheel.”
Baxter says more shockingly, a tourniquet was laying on the car seat.
That prompted a 9-1-1 call, after which Baxter says a police officer detected a weak pulse, and it wasn’t until paramedics issued a second dose of naloxone that the man was revived.
“And that’s when he came back to life. He says ‘oh, can I go home now’, and they said ‘no, we’re taking you to the hospital.'”
Vancouver Police seized the vehicle, but Baxter says it’s an ordeal highlighting yet more dangers in the ongoing overdose crisis.
“When you’re in a vehicle, you’re a time bomb. You’re travelling through the city, the Downtown Eastside. There’s a lot of people out and about at that time. To me, that was just selfish.”
Last month, the BC Coroners Service reported there had been 755 deaths from illicit drug overdoses in B.C. in the first 11 months of the year.