Athabasca, Alberta – On Sept. 28, 2016 at approximately 9:15 a.m, an Athabasca RCMP police officer was flagged down by a vehicle on Highway 55 at 43rd St, in the town of Athabasca. The female driver told the officer that there was a 27-year-old male passenger in the back of her truck overdosing from the use of Fentanyl. The police officer attended and found the male unresponsive, not breathing and having no pulse.
While the police officer was attending to the male, a female approached the scene in a separate vehicle and advised a collision had just occurred nearby between her vehicle and the truck. The same female assisted police with CPR on the unresponsive male on the side of the road. The male was then placed into the back of the truck where the police officer and the female continued CPR while being driven to the Athabasca hospital. Upon arriving at the Athabasca Hospital, the male was turned over to the medical staff and he was stabilized and transported to an Edmonton area hospital where he remains in serious condition.
The investigation has shown that the victim is from Edmonton and had been in Athabasca visiting. It is unknown where or how the Fentanyl was obtained, but there have been no previous reports to police of Fentanyl use in the Athabasca area.
While this is believed to be an isolated incident in the Athabasca community, the RCMP encourage people to familiarize themselves with the signs and symptoms of Fentanyl overdoses.
Signs and Symptoms of a Fentanyl overdose include:
• breathing is slow or not breathing at all
• nails and/or lips are blue
• choking or throwing up
• making gurgling sounds
• skin is cold and clammy
• can’t awake person
It is not anticipated that charges will be laid regarding this incident.
If you have information about this incident, please call the Athabasca RCMP at 780-675-5122 or call your local police. If you want to remain anonymous, you can contact Crime Stoppers by phone at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS), by internet at www.tipsubmit.com, or by SMS (Check your local Crime Stoppers [www.crimestoppers.ab.ca] for instructions.