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Deputies: Canandaigua woman waited to seek help, didn't call 911 after man's overdose

November 13, 2017 11:18 AM

A Canandaigua woman spent hours driving around with a friend in her car as he died of a drug overdose instead of getting him aid that might have saved him, Ontario county deputies said.

Megan Ward, 19, was arrested Friday on criminally negligent homicide charges for the 2016 death of her friend Brandon R. Sills, 18, of Walworth.

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"I can't say what's going through her mind but it certainly is troubling to us,” said Lieutenant Greg Shaffer with the Ontario County Sheriff’s Department.  “Certainly a normal person, they saw anybody, if it was their friend or associate, if they’re in some type of distress, just the natural instinct would be to try to help them.

Sills died on the night of September 26, 2016 in the Clifton Springs Hospital.  A statement from the Ontario County Sheriff’s Department said tests revealed “different medications were found to be in his system including opiates”   Shaffer reported that Ward helped provide Sills with drugs including prescription meds and opiates and that the two had been in a park in the Wayne county town of Ontario when Sills began having trouble breathing, then lost consciousness.    According to investigators, it was more than two hours later that Ward brought Sills into the hospital in Clifton Springs, some 25 miles away.

"She failed to get any help for him,” Shaffer said.  “Had a cell phone. Certainly could've called 911. Could've driven to a local fire station, ambulance corps or a closer hospital."

Even the trip from Ontario all the way to Clifton Springs wouldn’t have taken more than two hours if Ward had driven there directly, Shaffer said. 

Shaffer said Sills may well have survived if he had received care sooner, from a hospital or even from police.  
Our police officers as well as other police officers around the area are using Narcan on a regular basis, often times more than once a day and successfully reviving people,” Shaffer explained.  “We do know that he had opioids in the system and usually Narcan is generally effective if generally given in a timely fashion.“

Shaffer added that if Ward delayed getting aid for Sills because she hoped to avoid legal trouble, he wanted the public to know that police do not punish those who seek lifesaving aid in cases of drug overdoses. “We don’t pursue criminal charges for people who are reaching out to help people in that situation,“ he said “Don’t fear that you’re going to be in trouble for what’s going on. Just think about saving somebody’s life. That’s what we’re there for.“  

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