EMS official: Mother who overdosed with infant in car was 'unusual' case
Posted January 31, 2018 3:38 p.m. EST
Updated July 13, 2018 9:56 a.m. EDT
Cary, N.C. — Two days after a woman overdosed in her car with her child inside, the Wake County EMS chief operating officer said responding to those types of calls is not the norm.
Cary police said paramedics called to a shopping center Monday found Kelly Lourie Bennett, 28, inside a car with a needle in her arm, injecting narcotics. Bennett’s 7-month-old child was in the car with her, authorities said.
The father of the child, Michael Edward Ward, 25, was also in the car.
"Most of the overdose calls that we respond to are individuals who either don't have children, or the children aren't present when we respond out to those calls, so this is unusual," said Chris Colangelo, the Wake County EMS chief operating officer.
Colangelo said in cases similar to the one they encountered on Monday, they have to look at the welfare of the child. Then, they do what makes the most sense depending on the circumstance.
"For us, we can contact another family member if we have that information. We can transport the child, or the minor, to the hospital with us, or we can call law enforcement," he said.
And while the opioid crisis is a serious issue across the state, it is not as bad in the Triangle as it is in other areas.
"We're still having our own crisis and we're seeing the increases of it, not at the level that some of the other parts of the country are," Colangelo said.
On average, three people a day die from opioid overdoses in North Carolina.
Bennett and Ward, both of 1206 Cassowary Lane in Apex, are charged with misdemeanor child abuse.