NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The two mangled cars and snapped utility pole are not the most shocking thing Myron Granger caught in his Instagram video last Thursday in the Upper Ninth Ward. Instead, it was the unconscious driver behind the wheel.
"Oh my God. Look at the needle still in his hand," Granger said during his recording.
The driver, Colin Mathison, 27, laid passed out, clutching a needle for more than 15 minutes after slamming into a parked car on Marais Street near Pauline Street around 6:30 p.m.
When emergency crews arrived to revive Mathison, instead of getting in the back of an ambulance, he peeled off wildly in his 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe, leaving the scene and hitting more cars on the way out.
"He looked up and said, 'Man that's what I did?' and he just left," Granger said. "He almost hit me. I was trying to get out the way because I didn't know if he was going to run me over."
A New Orleans police officer arrested Mathison not long after the crash. In the accident report, the officer said when he asked Mathison what he was doing climbing a fence, Mathison replied "being an idiot."
"Where he hit the pole was the exact next block away from a school. An hour earlier he could have hit a school bus full of kids or ran somebody's child over," Granger said. "He was out. I thought he was dead."
It still unknown what exactly was in Mathison's syringe. It has been placed into evidence with the NOPD.
Mathison was issued a municipal summons for possession of drug paraphernalia, reckless operation and hit and run. He was transported to University Medical Center for testing and later taken to Orleans Parish Prison.
Colin Mathison is the son of Tim Mathison, who is the City of Slidell's chief administrative officer. The accident report says Tim Mathison is the owner of the car involved in Thursday's crash.
The scene of Mathison's crash was a little more than a mile away from where St. Bernard Sheriff Jimmy Pohlman's son, Justin Pohlman, was found dead of an apparent drug overdose.
"We will absolutely see it all over the city, really just all over the state and all over the country," Orleans Parish Director of EMS Jeffrey Elder said. "There's not just one place you can go to to say this is happening. This is all over the place."
Edler said his paramedics respond to at least two overdose calls a day.
The reviving medicine, Narcan or Naloxone, that used for opioid overdoses is now more prevalent than ever. Not only because it is administered by EMS and fire crews, but also family members of drug addicts are getting the medicine as a precaution so they can give loved ones Naloxone in the event of an overdose while waiting on first responders.
"People are starting to use it. While that's a good thing to help combat the problem on the back end, what we really need to do is to continue educate people on the problem and how to help family members and patients get the help they need on the front end for opioid abuse," Elder said. "It's available now with a standing order from Dr. Joseph Kanter, our medical director for the New Orleans Health Department, at the outpatient pharmacy downtown at University Medical Center and also at Crescent City Pharmacy at Simon Bolivar Avenue."
Anyone can go to those locations, get a prescription and get educated on how to administer Naloxone to someone who has overdosed.
The City of New Orleans has posted helpful links for people or family members of those dealing with opiate addiction.