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Driver in fatal crash suspected of being under influence of nitrous oxide

A 20-year-old man was arrested Saturday in Santa Ana on suspicion of driving under the influence of nitrous oxide following a crash that killed a teenage passenger and injured two others, authorities said.

Jose Luis Gomez was traveling “at a high rate of speed” on Fairview Street near the intersection with MacArthur Boulevard when he lost control of his car and slammed into a tree in the median of the road, Santa Ana Police Commander Steve Colon said.

In addition to the teenage male who was killed, two other passengers were transported to a local hospital for injuries that were not life-threatening, Colon said. The identity of the deceased passenger was not released. 

Colon said officers believed Gomez’s command of the car was impaired after abusing nitrous oxide. Abuse of the inhalant can cause unconsciousness, disrupt heart rhythm and result in brain damage. It is often consumed with a “whippet,” a whipped-cream canister that uses the gas as a charger.

-- Garrett Therolf

Comments () | Archives (8)

Sadly this is one more reason to be alert and educate about inhalant dangers. Both the LA Unified School District and LA's District Attorney's Office have an ongoing and strong inhalant prevention campaign with a focus on nitrous oxide abuse.
For for general inhalant information, please contact us via our website at www.inhalants.org

Harvey Weiss
Director, National Inhalant Prevention Coaliton

Living here in Santa Ana, I'm finding driving on the streets here more dangerous every day. Defensive driving is a must here... my prayers go out to the killed persons family.

they must have been doing it as they were driving; the effects are so short-lived that it should have been out of his system long before then if he'd done it before getting in the car. sad story.

Let's send Mr. Gomez to the trash heap, never to heard from again. Murder is murder-off to the gallows for this idiot.

Living here in Santa Ana, I'm finding it increasingly dangerous to drive the streets here. Defense driving is a must! My thoughts go out to the family of the killed person...

In college, we had a rule: freshmen inhaling nitrous must sit down.

This guy is just a Darwin award.

he was high on medical marihuana!

My brother knew the kid whom passed away...ive seen him around...sad sad story...dumb kids and their dumb NOS


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