Society

Girl Calls 911 As Her Parents Overdose While Driving

| by Shani Shahmoon

A 9-year-old girl called the police on March 18 from a parking lot, after she saw both her parents in the front seat were unconscious.

Charles Dove and Paula Smith reportedly took heroin while driving their SUV, with their daughter in the back seat. The young girl managed to park the car and call the police as they were losing conciousness, saving her parents' lives, WLWT reported.

The girl said she had noticed a change movement and saw that her father had passed out in the passenger seat and her mother, who was operating the moving vehicle, going in and out of consciousness. She called her grandmother Anna Dove, before her mother managed to pull into the nearest parking lot.

The girl had to put the car in park herself, police said.

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"She was very frantic, scared, crying, screaming, 'Grandma, I'm going to die,'" the grandmother told WLWT in an interview.

Anna was given instructions by the police to have the girl call 911 herself, so they could track her location.

The 911 dispatcher stayed on the line with the 9-year-old, getting information about the surroundings from her and relaying the description to paramedics and police.

"I'm scared," the girl told the dispatcher, as she waited for emergency crews to find her.

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"They're breathing," the girl added.

“OK, OK, but you’re unable to wake them up?” the dispatcher asked.

“No... they won’t wake up,” the girl answered frantically.

Surveillance video from an auto shop shows the family's beige Jeep pulling into the parking lot just after 11 p.m., WKRC reports.

Police and paramedics arrived at the scene, and managed to use Narcan to reverse the effects of the overdose on the girl's parents.

The young girl is staying with her grandparents, while her parents face child endangerment charges.

"She saved two lives and her own and I'm so proud of her," Anna said.

Ted Bergin, the auto shop owner whose camera caught the entire incident, was not surprised by the story.

Overdoses have become a common thing, Bergin said.

While investigating the story, WKRC reporters witnessed paramedics revive two people in a nearby parking lot.

Police say addicts are using the drugs outside of their homes and then attempt to drive back under the influence, risking their lives and the lives of anyone else on the road, reports The Daily Caller.

Between 2010 and 2015, drug overdose deaths have doubled in Ohio, from 1,500 in 2010 to more than 3,000 in 2015, WCPO reports.

With such a statistic, the number of kids who have lost their parents to opiate overdoses, also known as "opiate orphans," has increased to about 100 in the county.

Ohio has faced a steady increase in overdoses related to heroin in the last 10 years.

Sources: WKRC, Daily Caller, WCPO, WLWT / Photo credit: Cincinnati Police Department via WKRC

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