In car crash aftermath man wanted more cocaine, inquest told.

By radagast · Nov 29, 2007 · ·
  1. radagast
    [h2]In car crash aftermath, man wanted more cocaine, inquest told[/h2]

    [h4]Richard Watts, Times Colonist[/h4]
    Published: Tuesday, November 27, 2007
    Even after crashing his car, a hysterical man reached for a syringe and managed one intelligible word, "cocaine," a B.C. coroner's inquest heard Tuesday.
    Colin Coxon testified that after he witnessed the crash and went to help, he found the man in the driver's seat of the wrecked car screaming incoherently. Then, the man reached down, pulled up a travel coffee mug and produced a syringe. Coxon heard him speak the word "cocaine" and then saw him try to roll up his sleeve.
    "He was frantically trying to inject himself," said Coxon. "He didn't even look at me."

    He was testifying in the inquest into the death of David Kenneth Smelts, 45, who died Oct. 6, 2006, after crashing his car on the Trans-Canada Highway near Millstream Road about 7:30 p.m.
    Coxon and another witness, Dennis Cronk, of Nanaimo, both testified they saw the car leave the northbound lane of the highway, cross the grassy median, the two southbound lanes and crash into the far median.
    Coroner's counsel John Orr told the jury he expected testimony will reveal Smelts was removed from the car and his heart stopped on the roadside. Revived by paramedics, he was transported by ambulance to Victoria General Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
    Forensic pathologist Dr. Charles Lee testified he pronounced the cause of death to be "cocaine intoxication."
    Lee said an autopsy revealed Smelts had a slightly enlarged heart and signs of high blood pressure but nothing that would conclusively prove to be fatal, except the drug. "There were no other signs but the high level of cocaine in the blood."
    Toxicologist Dr. Charles Martz said a blood sample showed Smelts had a blood concentration of 3.9 mg/litre. That's very high, when considering a normal line of cocaine, snorted up the nose, will yield a blood concentration of 0.2 mg/litre to 0.4 mg/litre.
    West Shore RCMP Const. Shawn Paul said his first concern upon finding a hysterical Smelts, still behind the wheel holding a syringe, was to subdue him so paramedics could begin to administer medical aid.
    Once Smelts had dropped the syringe, Paul said he and other officers pulled him, flailing wildly, out of the car. They put him on the pavement face-down and handcuffed him behind his back. When he tried to bang his head on the pavement, they placed a pillow underneath and rolled him on his side so he could breathe.
    "Then I noticed he had stopped breathing," said Paul, who remembers telling paramedics, who began emergency measures.
    Const. Jan Malinowsky, of the West Shore RCMP, was first on scene. She testified she tried to calm Smelts while he was still behind the wheel and learn what sort of drugs he had taken to pass on the information to paramedics.
    And when Malinowsky mentioned the word "cocaine" and asked him if had taken any, Smelts stopped raving, looked directly at her and spoke the only intelligible sentence she heard him utter, likely his last. "Yes, $240 worth, and it's all gone," said Smelts, according to Malinowsky's testimony.
    The inquest is scheduled to continue today

    The original story can be found here

    I think this is sad. But its interesting to see that this story was written on the 27 November and was only about day 1 of the inquest but the story doesnt seem to have been followed up on day 2. Was this because the police were found to be negligent in their care of the prisoner? who knows.

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  1. fnord
    grandma ate a ten strip after a car crash once but that was for destroying evidence,i wonder if the man was already dying when he took his last shot and if he just wanted to go out with a bang.
  2. x cynic x
    Yup, must've been the Drugs that drove him to his death, definitely not his extremeley indulgent, wreckless, uncontrolled behavior (long exasperated sigh).
  3. snapper
    Shooting cocaine makes people wacky and can also be really good at stopping a heart. Histopathology would be necessary to determine the degree of acute myocardial damage and that would take at least a few weeks to come back from the lab, but more likely the cocaine caused and arrythmia which combined with the exertion of being restrained, caused the heart to stop beating (sodium channel blockade of cardiac myocytes).
    This is a nice illustration of just how compulsive coke shooters can be.
  4. JaWill88
    sad thing for swim is if he was shooting coke and got in a car crash, the only thing he could think about after something like that is another coke shot. the other day swims friend was trying to do a coke shot while driving and made swim hold on to the wheel so he could do it. swim was pissed. the even worse part was swim was pissed because swim had to hold onto the wheel and swim couldnt do his coke shot. shooting coke is evil. swim doesn't even enjoy the whole experience much at all but still has the compulsion to do it. its the rush. and its been that way for a few years now. bad stuff.
  5. Bajeda
    That would be an awful way to kill yourself. Maybe by the point he crashed he decided he wanted to speed up the process so he tried injecting more. *cringes thinking about it*

    He had an enlarged heart? And high blood pressure obviously, but enlargement of the heart doesn't sound especially safe. Not even sure how that would work, with the muscle expanding? It seems a bit fast to blame the death on cocaine toxicity, though the cocaine use most likely killed him one way or another. I'm sure there will be a write-up in a Toxicology journal somewhere if cocaine toxicity was the cause of death.
  6. fnord
    @baj isnt long term stimulant use cause enlargement of the heart allowing users to love more?

    just joking about the second part BTW.
  7. snapper
    yes, but cardiac hypertrophy when mild does not cause heart failure. With cocaine, it does not need to be usage for very long. If one is an intense chronic cocaine or meth user, cardiac muscle will enlarge to compensate for the increased demand since it is pushing more blood faster on a consistent basis.
    Yes, the more cocaine you do, the greater your capacity for love. love for cocaine, that is... That is a well known fact.
  8. JaWill88
    thats interesting swim did know about other problems but not an enlarged heart. that is why swim loves this forum.
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