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A crashed car was burning in their yard. A stranger was overdosing inside it, N.J. police say

A New Jersey man was found inside a burning, wrecked car in a front yard Thursday morning, and after police pulled him from the vehicle they said they realized he was overdosing.
A New Jersey man was found inside a burning, wrecked car in a front yard Thursday morning, and after police pulled him from the vehicle they said they realized he was overdosing. Gloucester City Fire Department

It was reported as a vehicle crash.

When New Jersey police officers and firefighters got to the scene early Thursday morning, though, the situation was much worse — and much more chaotic — than the typical wreck.

A car was going up in flames, crashed on the front lawn of a home in Gloucester City just before 7 a.m., police in the Philadelphia suburb said. Fuel from the car had leaked into the street of the residential neighborhood. That gasoline leak was spreading the fire further and damaged two other cars on the road, according to the fire department.

To complicate the situation even more, the driver — Shawn Durkin, 26 — was still inside the burning car as police got there, authorities said. He resisted officers’ attempts to get him out.

Eventually police were able to move Durkin away from the fiery car. At that point, though, Durkin lost consciousness. Durkin was overdosing, police said, and so a dose of Naloxone was administered. The drug is designed to quickly reverse an opioid-related overdose.

The incident happened not far from a school bus stop, police said. Kids waiting for the bus in the morning were told to catch it from another intersection.

The local fire department put out the fire, and there were no further injuries, police said. Pictures from the incident posted by the Gloucester fire department on Facebook show first responders swarming around the blazing wreck to contain the fire.

Durkin, a resident of Hammonton, N.J., regained consciousness and was taken to a local hospital to be treated.

Durkin was arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated and several other traffic offenses, police said. The car had crashed in a stranger’s lawn, the Courier Post reports.

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