Naloxone Potentially Saved Victim Of Heroin-Induced Crash

ELLICOTT – Recent efforts to distribute naloxone to police and emergency officials statewide proved valuable Tuesday after a heroin-induced vehicle accident occurred just north of Jamestown.

Zachary Ellis, 30, of Fredonia, was traveling northbound on Route 60 in the town of Ellicott when he crashed into a ditch near the intersection with Tompkins Road.

New York State Police responded to the scene at 6:29 p.m. and found Ellis unresponsive.

“When we saw that he was unconscious, the trooper pulled him out of the car and hooked up the (automated external defibrillator),” said Captain Eric J. Balon of the New York State Police.

After the AED deemed that a shock was not necessary, troopers found a hypodermic needle containing heroin inside the vehicle and quickly administered one dosage of naloxone to Ellis.

“(All our troopers) have one dose of naloxone with them … and they all have training on its usage,” Balon said.

Ellis was revived and transported by Alstar Ambulance to WCA Hospital where he was evaluated and released to the New York State Police.

He was charged with driving while ability impaired by drugs, seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and possession of a hypodermic needle. He was also charged with third-degree aggravated unlicensed operation after it was determined that his driver’s license was revoked.

Ellis will appear in Ellicott Court on July 22 at 6 p.m.

Naloxone, often referred to as Narcan, has been used by emergency medical professionals for decades and usually comes in small, easy-to-carry kits. During an overdose, the medication is injected into the upper arm of the victim and is intended to revive him or her in a matter of minutes.

Last month, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed sweeping anti-heroin legislation that includes the distribution of naloxone anti-overdose kits to all police officers and first responders.

The Jamestown Police Department and the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office have both indicated that their personnel are equipped with naloxone kits.