Wes Lyon and Jessica Federici were preparing for a run at Derby Reach Park in Langley on Christmas morning, when he noticed a blue car that had its motor running. It turned out there was someone inside who had apparently suffered a drug overdose (Special to Langley Advance Times)

Wes Lyon and Jessica Federici were preparing for a run at Derby Reach Park in Langley on Christmas morning, when he noticed a blue car that had its motor running. It turned out there was someone inside who had apparently suffered a drug overdose (Special to Langley Advance Times)

Good Samaritan wants to know if overdose victim survived

Christmas Day incident at Derby Reach park was an ‘eye-opening,’ rescuer says

Wes Lyon would like to know if the dark-haired woman in the blue Hyundai Tiburon survived her apparent drug overdose.

He noticed the car in the parking lot of Derby Reach Regional Park in Langley on Christmas morning, when he and girlfriend Jessica Federici arrived to go for a run.

It was parked at a “weird angle,” with the motor running and the windows rolled down, he recalled.

Someone was inside.

‘”They looked to be sleeping,” Lyon told the Langley Advance Times.

He deliberately slammed his truck door, hoping the noise would be enough to wake up the occupant.

When it didn’t, Lyon took a closer look, and saw a straw on the car dashboard that made him suspect drugs.

That was when he phoned 9-1-1.

It was just after 11 a.m.

READ ALSO: Local man finds daughter dead in Langley from drug overdose

At the suggestion of the 9-1-1 dispatcher, Lyon first banged on the car window.

The occupant, a dark-haired Caucasian woman in her late 20s or early 30s, didn’t react.

“She didn’t look out of the ordinary,” Lyon said, and the car was in good shape.

Then, again at the suggestion of the dispatcher, Lyon opened the car door and took her wrist to check for a pulse.

He could see what appeared to be a drug pipe on the passenger seat.

When he couldn’t find a pulse, Lyon pulled the woman out and started performing CPR.

It has been at least 10 years since Lyon had taken first-aid training in school, but the dispatcher talked him through it.

“It was definitely an adrenalin-pumping moment.”

Ambulance, fire, and police crews were on scene within two to four minutes, and they took over.

Lyon was told the paramedics had been able to get a “weak” pulse.

Since then, he’s been trying – without success – to find out if the woman survived.

He said police have told him it is a privacy issue, and they can’t say more.

“It would have been nice to know if we had saved a life.”

He is also curious about the three other cars that were in the parking lot at the time, wondering if their drivers had seen the blue car and decided against getting involved.

“It’s very eye-opening,” he said.

Federici said before that day, she was aware there was a problem – having read about the rising numbers of drug-related fatalities and even lost some high school friends to overdoses. But, the Christmas Day incident was the first time she had seen one happen.

“It hit home,” she said.

She was disappointed at the apparent lack of concern from a small group of bystanders at the scene, one of whom wasn’t willing to move a vehicle before the fire and ambulance crews arrived.

“It was just really sad to us,” Federici commented.

Since the ordeal, Federici said she and Lyon have discussed in the future upgrading their CPR skills to be better prepared and possibly carrying naloxone, which is used to treat overdoses.

READ ALSO: 153 people died of drug overdoses in November in B.C.; deaths climb in seniors

More than 150 British Columbians died in November due to the overdose crisis, according to a report from the BC Coroners Service released on Dec. 21.

The 153 deaths last month represented a seven-per-cent decrease from October and an 89-per-cent increase from November 2019. That equates to just over five people dying each day of the month.

The highest number of illicit drug toxicity deaths happened in Fraser Health and Vancouver Coastal Health regions, with 510 and 424 deaths, respectively.

The highest death rates were in Northern Health with 44 deaths per 100,000 people, with Vancouver Coastal Health second at 38 per 100,000.

Men continued to die at much higher rates than women, making up 81 per cent of 2020 drug deaths to date. The 293 women who have died so far in 2020 represent a 23 per cent increase from all of 2019, while the 1,255 men who have died so far this year represent a 68 per cent increase from last year.



dan.ferguson@langleyadvancetimes.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Langleyoverdose crisis

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Family and friends of Hudson Brooks marched as part of a call for answers from an IIO investigation into his 2015 death. (Black Press Media files)
Inquest to look into RCMP shooting death of Hudson Brooks

Charges agains the RCMP officer who shot Brooks were stayed in 2019

Local letter writer expects more people turning to prayer during pandemic. (File photo)
LETTER: More people likely turn to prayer during pandemic, Langley man contends

Pandemic, politics and the economy are giving people reason to call on a higher power, he writes

Langley’s Julie Vantol shared this picture of her “intrepid” three-year-old son Jonas cycling along the shores fo the Fraser River on a recent sunny winter day. “Great day for a bike ride along the beach at Derby Reach trailhead, at 208th,” with the snow covered mountains in the background, she said. (Special to Langley Advance Times)
SHARE: Perfect biking weather?

Send us your photo showing how you view Langley, and it could be featured in a future edition

Langley City Library (pictured) could be joined by another FVRL branch in Willoughby, as Township is set to hear from senior staff about ideas for a future site. (Langley Advance Times files)
Discussion on new Willoughby library starts in February

Township council will hear from staff on ideas for the first new library branch in years

Anne-Marie Walsh snapped this photo of farmland along Glover Road on Oct. 10 when the interesting clouds caught her attention.
SHARE: Clouds captivate in rural Langley

Send us your photo showing how you view Langley, and it could be featured in a future edition

A scene from “Canada and the Gulf War: In their own words,” a video by The Memory Project, a program of Historica Canada, is shown in this undated illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Historica Canada
New video marks Canada’s contributions to first Gulf War on 30th anniversary

Veterans Affairs Canada says around 4,500 Canadian military personnel served during the war

Powell River-Sunshine Coast MLA Nicholas Simons was appointed to the NDP cabinet as minister of social development and poverty reduction after the October 2020 B.C. election. (Hansard TV)
B.C. job training fund increased for developmentally disabled

COVID-19 has affected 1,100 ‘precariously employed’ people

B.C. driver’s licence and identity cards incorporate medical services, but the passport option for land crossings is being phased out. (B.C. government)
B.C. abandons border ID cards built into driver’s licence

$35 option costing ICBC millions as demand dwindles

BC Emergency Health Services has deployed the Major Incident Response Team (MIRRT) as COVID-19 positive cases rise in the Williams Lake region. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
B.C.’s rapid response paramedics deployed to Williams Lake as COVID-19 cases climb

BC Emergency Health Services has sent a Major Incident Rapid Response Team to the lakecity

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

(Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
RCMP say ice climber seriously injured after reportedly falling 12 metres near Abraham Lake

Police say man’s injuries were serious but not life-threatening

U.S. military units march in front of the Capitol, Monday, Jan. 18, 2021 in Washington, as they rehearse for President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration ceremony, which will be held at the Capitol on Wednesday. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Biden aims for unifying speech at daunting moment for U.S.

President Donald Trump won’t be there to hear it

Williams Lake physician Dr. Ivan Scrooby and medical graduate student Vionarica Gusti hold up the COSMIC Bubble Helmet. Both are part of the non-profit organization COSMIC Medical which has come together to develop devices for treating patients with COVID-19. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Group of B.C. doctors, engineers developing ‘bubble helmet’ for COVID-19 patients

The helmet could support several patients at once, says the group

A 17-year-old snowmobiler used his backcountry survival sense in preparation to spend the night on the mountain near 100 Mile House Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021 after getting lost. (South Cariboo Search and Rescue Facebook photo)
Teen praised for backcountry survival skills after getting lost in B.C.’s Cariboo mountains

“This young man did everything right after things went wrong.”

Most Read