SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Seven people, including four California Highway Patrol officers, were hospitalized Sunday afternoon after apparent exposure to the opioid fentanyl at the scene of a solo traffic accident at the Golden Gate Bridge toll plaza, the CHP said.
In addition, the driver of the crashed car, a tow truck driver and a Golden Gate Bridge Patrol officer were also taken to nearby hospitals for suspected exposure to fentanyl, the CHP said.
The CHP received a call at 11:45 a.m. Sunday describing a possibly impaired driver headed north toward the Golden Gate Bridge. Moments later, that driver crashed into a moveable median barrier at the toll plaza, blocking a lane there.
As San Francisco Fire Department personnel tended to the driver, who was unconscious, a CHP officer went into the crashed car to put it into “park” and prepare to move it to the Alexander Avenue off-ramp north of the bridge.
At Alexander Avenue, the first CHP officer, plus another CHP officer and the tow truck driver, became incapacitated, apparently from fentanyl exposure, the CHP said.
“Very quickly those symptoms escalated and (the officer) became incapacitated,” said CHP spokesman Andy Barclay. “Fortunately there were other units on scene that were able to see what was going on requesting immediate medical response and began administering Narcan to him.”
During the subsequent investigation at Alexander Avenue, two more CHP officers and a Golden Gate Bridge Patrol officer began displaying symptoms of possible exposure and were transported to a local hospital for treatment and monitoring.
The suspect has been booked into San Francisco County Jail.
Due to the extreme danger of fentanyl exposure, the Alexander Avenue offramp from northbound U.S. Highway 101 (as well as the on-ramp there) were closed and the area was deemed both a crime scene and hazmat scene.
Resources from the CHP, Marin County Fire, Marin County Sheriff’s Office and the Marin HAZMAT team all responded to the scene to begin the process of cleaning up the vehicle and making it safe for removal.
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