FLAGLER COUNTY, Fla. – A Flagler County deputy was taken to the hospital after he was exposed to fentanyl Thursday afternoon during a traffic stop, according to sheriff’s officials.
The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office said there were 911 calls made around 3:45 p.m. about a driver who fled a crash in Bunnell and was driving recklessly on State Road 11. Deputies said the vehicle came to a stop and bystanders stayed with the driver, identified as 61-year-old George Clemons, until law enforcement arrived.
Deputies saw narcotics, an empty Bud Light can, and other alcohol in the vehicle, according to the sheriff’s office. When asked to participate in a sobriety test, Clemons refused and was arrested on DUI, officials said.
While testing the narcotics, one of the deputies began to feel lightheaded and was shaky. The other deputy administered Narcan a couple times and the deputy’s condition improved, the sheriff’s office said. The narcotics tested presumptive positive for fentanyl.
“I feel really dizzy,” the deputy said in body camera video as he walked over to another deputy.
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The deputy was taken to the hospital, where he was treated and later released.
Division Chief John Welker said the deputy is doing better and still experiencing residual effects, but is planning to get back to work on Monday.
“The sheriff’s office provides our deputies with the proper protection equipment but unfortunately in today’s world with fentanyl and a lot of these drugs that are coming out, they’re extremely dangerous. They can easily be airborne and absorbed through the skin,” Welker said.
“What happened yesterday is a perfect example of the dangers law enforcement face each and every day from poison on the streets,” Sheriff Rick Staly said in a release Friday. “Thankfully our deputies are well trained and equipped with Narcan which allowed DFC Gaddie to potentially save the life of a fellow deputy. I would also like to thank the Good Samaritans who stopped to check on Deputy Huzior and Gaddie while they were waiting for EMS as well as Flagler County Fire Rescue and AdventHealth - Palm Coast for taking care of him.”
Clemons faces multiple charges, including DUI, possession of fentanyl and leaving the scene of a crash.
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