The Student News Site of Washington International School

International Dateline

The Student News Site of Washington International School

International Dateline

The Student News Site of Washington International School

International Dateline

Fentanyl Overdose Causes Major Car Crash on Connecticut Avenue

The scene of the fatal accident that involved a fentanyl overdose. The two affected vehicles are in the middle of the image, an Audi and a Mazda. (Leonardo Sarzi-Braga/International Dateline)

A car crash caused by a fentanyl overdose occurred on Connecticut Avenue beside the Cleveland Park Public Library on Thursday, May 4. Fentanyl, a type of opioid, is the current leading cause of drug-related death in the U.S., according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Even in small doses, it can be deadly; over 150 Americans die from it every day. 

The Connecticut Avenue crash involved three individuals, two men and one woman, who were already unconscious when their car hit a parked vehicle. Officials arrived at the scene shortly after 1 p.m., diverting traffic off the road.

While emergency personnel helped the individuals, a significant portion of Connecticut Avenue was closed off, starting from the intersection of Macomb Street up to the Cleveland Park Metro Station. As of 4:30 p.m., the area was clear.

The car scraped another vehicle while coming down the Kennedy Warren area before entirely losing control and hitting the parked Audi, according to ABC News 7 reporters on the scene. 

Story continues below advertisement

“They were coming north, high as a kite, overdosing up Connecticut Avenue, and the fact that they didn’t hit any pedestrians was amazing,” an ABC reporter who witnessed the incident said. 

The car lost control as it approached the intersection of Macomb Street and Connecticut Avenue. 

“It is evident that a full overdose kicked in as they swerved off the road,” the reporter added. 

Police officials reported that the woman died at the scene, and the two men were quickly transported to the nearest hospital. The death was unrelated to the crash. 

The car was identified with a fake license plate, which is untraceable by the police department. “It has got what looks like a fake Texas license plate on the back, which was counterfeit,” a reporter on the scene said. 

Fake license plates have been a reoccurring issue in the Cleveland Park neighborhood. 

“We know those Texas plates; they print them every time they expire by going to the internet,” a resident of the Cleveland Park area said. “We had one up Newark Street from a Nigerian rental company outside of Houston. It took us a year to get it towed.”

The details regarding the identities of the individuals involved in the crash are still unreleased by the police department. 

Earlier in the week, on May 2, Birdie Light co-founder Beth Weinstock shared the story of her son’s fentanyl overdose at a WIS upper school assembly. The organization provides young people with the tools they need to detect fentanyl before ingesting it and educates them on the risks of accidental fentanyl ingestion. 

The assembly transmitted a powerful message to the upper school body on the rising fentanyl epidemic. This lethal crash is yet another example of how it is impacting society on a daily basis.

In 2016, 44% of drivers in fatal incidents tested positive for drugs, up from 28% just 10 years prior, according to a report by the Governors Highway Safety Association. Out of the 44%, at least 6% tested positive for opioids, such as fentanyl. 

“This crisis is unfathomably large,” a witness of the Connecticut Avenue collision said. “Each year, more people pass away than when the AIDS pandemic was at its worst. In 2020, fentanyl overdoses claimed more American lives than the Vietnam War. Always be safe and stay away from this epidemic at all costs.” 

By Dexter Illing and Leonardo Sarzi Braga

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Leonardo Sarzi Braga
Leonardo Sarzi Braga, Multimedia Publications Editor

Comments (0)

All International Dateline Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *