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New Details On Fatal I-79 Crash Prompts Doctor To Warn Of “Huffing” Dangers

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(Photo Credit: NewsChopper 2/KDKA)

(Photo Credit: NewsChopper 2/KDKA)

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A report released by Pennsylvania State Police shows that three teenagers who were killed in a crash were “huffing” as they drove on Interstate 79 in Greene County.

An SUV driven by the teens went out of the control in October, hitting and killing a motorcyclist as well.

Autopsies on driver Cullin Frazer and passengers Ben Hardy and Byron Kerr revealed that they had been huffing a can of compressed air cleaner, according to State Police.

They died, however, from trauma caused in the crash.

Dr. Neil Capretto, from Gateway Rehabilitation Center, says teens don’t always understand how serious huffing can be.

“This is a dangerous thing to do even if you’re at home sitting on your couch,” said Dr. Capretto. “They can get a euphoria, a high, but it’s quite dangerous. It can cause heart stoppage, respiratory depression, certainly lack of coordination.”

Dr. Cyril Wecht, who performed the autopsies on the teens in the crash, said, ”I cannot prove this via the autopsy, but I believe that obviously this is what happened: that the driver became disoriented, it went beyond lightheadedness and he lost control of the car.”

He says the driver had a “significant” amount of difluroethane in his system. That’s a substance found in compressed air cleaner used on computers.

Dr. Capretto says it’s common for him to see people who have tried “huffing.”

“I can’t emphasize enough how dangerous it is. Literally, it’s like playing Russian roulette,” he said. “The next time you do it could be your last time.”

RELATED LINKS:
Police: Teens Huffed Cleaning Spray Before Greene Co. Crash (1/14/13)
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