PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The investigation into what caused a three-vehicle crash that left four dead in Greene County last fall has revealed that inhalants played a part.
The accident happened the evening of Oct. 3 on Interstate 79, near mile marker 21. Involved was an SUV, camper and motorcycle.
Three of the people fatally injured were teenagers traveling in the SUV. Cullin Frazer, Benjamin Hardy and Byron Kerr, all 18-years-old, died when their car crossed over the median and into an embankment.
The 47-year-old motorcyclist, Michael Cohen of Canada, was also killed.
Now, the state police report released Monday shows that all three teens had Difluoroethane in their systems.
Difluoroethane is the colorless gas used in computer-cleaning spray, which is sometimes “huffed,” resulting in a high for the user.
Dr. Cyril Wecht performed the autopsy.
He told KDKA, “I believe, obviously, this is what happened; that the driver became disoriented. It went beyond just a bit of light-headedness and he lost control of the car, and in those few seconds, going fast on a major highway, and it’s all over. A true tragedy.”
Police say the teens bought computer-cleaning spray and had been “huffing” it while driving on I-79.
Cohen, who was on the motorcycle, did not have any impairing substances in his body, according to police.
Many common household cleaning products are abused by inhalers and can have long-term effects, but can also lead to sudden death and cardiac arrest.
However, police say the teens died of blunt force trauma.