Woman crashes after overdosing with 2-year-old daughter in car

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A Memphis woman is facing several charges after crashing her car with her 2-year-old daughter in the backseat.

Police said they found Lasena Brandon, 30, unconscious behind the wheel after crashing at I-55 and South Parkway Wednesday afternoon. They said paramedics revived her with Narcan, a drug commonly used to treat opioid overdoses.

“That’s the power of addiction right there,” said Ron Bobal, who started the non-profit A Betor Way after losing his son to addiction more than two years ago.

“They could have killed their child and themselves, or perhaps somebody else that they hit in their car. I mean, that’s a sad thing to hear,” he said.

MPD didn’t respond to emails seeking clarification about the substance that allegedly caused Brandon to pass out, but data WREG requested shows that opioid overdoses are up in Shelby County.

When police called an emergency press conference May 24 after seeing 12 overdoses in 24 hours, Shelby County Health Department officials said they had been averaging about one death per day.

Health department data WREG received Thursday shows 77 suspected overdoses, 12 of them fatal, between May 28 and June 4. That makes for an average of 1.7 fatal overdoses per day.

Since the May 24 press conference, the health department logged 126 suspected overdoses, of which 19 were fatal.

Bobal believes the number will only grow.

“Your brain is telling your body that you’re dying unless you’re gonna get high,” he said.

A high that oftentimes comes with extreme lows.

“It’s not a good situation to have children with active addicts, in my opinion,” Bobal said.

Brandon’s daughter was released to her grandmother, police said. WREG went to her listed address, but no one answered.

Brandon is charged with child abuse and neglect, driving under the influence, driving while license suspended, reckless driving, violation of financial law and contempt of juvenile court.

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