Huffing blamed for three Vermont deaths this year
By Brent Curtis
Before the huffing of aerosols was being blamed for causing the crash that killed 17-year-old Carly Ferro last week, the practice of inhaling household chemicals had been deemed major factors in two other fatal crashes in the state this year — including one in Rutland.
The first fatal crash occurred in the city in April when 22-year-old Christopher Loso died after crashing into the front steps of the Rutland United Methodist Church on Williams Street — located in the same northwest section of the city where the crash that killed Ferro took place.
The second incident was in June when an 18-year-old Belivdere man allegedly crashed into a motorcyclist from behind, killing the New Hampshire man before fleeing the scene.
In all three cases, police say the driver's were not only inhaling aerosols to get high, they were using the same brand — “Dust-Off.”
There's nothing illegal about buying or owning that product — it's compressed air designed to blow away the crud that gets stuck in computer keyboards.
But inhaling the gas can create an intense short-term high that health experts say takes a massive toll on the brain and briefly renders users virtually unable to function.
“While they're under they're totally disoriented and somewhat psychotic,” said Clay Gilbert, director of substance abuse at Evergreen Substance Abuse Services in Rutland. “When they talk they make even less sense that someone that's drunk.”
For the complete story, see Wednesday's Rutland Herald.