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Deltona woman overdoses on I-4 with children in back seat, deputies say

12-year-old girl called 911 after mother lost consciousness

A Deltona woman found unconscious behind the wheel on Interstate 4 is charged with child neglect after deputies say she overdosed on heroin while driving with three children in the back seat and her 12-year-old had to put the car in neutral.

Volusia County deputies said they responded to the minivan at mile marker 114 on Thursday around 7 p.m. after the driver's 12-year-old daughter called 911.

Tiffany Smith, 28, was found unconscious behind the steering wheel, according to the arrest report. Her children,  ages 12, 7 and 1, were also in the vehicle.



Paramedics administered naloxone to Smith to revive her. 

The 12-year-old told deputies her mother stopped at a home on Deltona Boulevard and went into the house for a while before beginning to drive. The girl said her mother pulled over and became unresponsive, according to the arrest report.

In the 911 call, released by the Sheriff's Office, the 12-year-old tells dispatchers she put the van in neutral when her mother started to pass out. The younger children can be heard crying and screaming in the background of the call.

"My mom won't wake up and we're on I-4 in the car," she said in the 911 call. "We're in the grass and we're close to a ditch 'cause my mom was hitting the gas and I put it in N because I don't know how to put it in park."

She told deputies she was driving to her sister's house in North Carolina with the children when her back started to hurt. She said she stopped at the Deltona home to get some heroin for the pain, deputies said. She told the deputies she took "a little bit of heroin" before driving away.

"Heroin? Is that something you should be taking?" a deputy asked Smith in the body camera video.

"It's not but I had no pain killer and my back was hurting and I was making a five-hour trip," Smith told deputies.

The children were placed in the custody of their grandmother. Two dogs in the minivan were turned over to Volusia County Animal Control officers.

The Sheriff's Office released deputy body-worn camera video of the incident and the 911 call. Listen and watch below:

Deputies alerted the Florida Department of Children and Families about the incident.

Smith was admitted to AdventHealth Fish Memorial in Orange City where she was in stable condition, according to a news release.

She will be booked into the Volusia County Jail pending treatment, according to the Sheriff's Office.

Smith is charged with three counts of child neglect without great harm.


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