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UBC student died of cocaine-induced heart attack

Coroner concerned by head injuries during police custody


 

Photo courtesy of andronicusmax on Flickr

A University of British Columbia student died from a cocaine-induced heart attack three days after being released from police custody in Whistler on Feb. 23, 2010.

Silas Rogers, 20, was arrested for public intoxication during the Vancouver Winter Olympics after taking heroin, alcohol and snorting a crushed-up anti-anxiety medication. He was then taken to the local RCMP detachment, where he stayed for 11 hours. Following his release, he went to a friend’s house in Vancouver and continued to take drugs, including cocaine. He was found unconscious by friends a few hours after retiring to bed, during which time he experienced the deadly cocaine-induced heart attack, reports Metro News.

During his time in jail, recordings showed that Rogers struck his head eight times against the floor and the walls. The jail guards didn’t notice because the video monitor at their workstation was broken. Owen Court, the regional coroner, said in his report that although the falls were not the cause of death, he found it troubling that “an obviously intoxicated individual fell and struck his head numerous times while in police custody, yet received so little attention.”


 

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