A 60-year-old man was charged with drugged driving Wednesday after suffering a heroin overdose and crashing his vehicle in west suburban Riverside.
About 6:50 p.m., an officer responded to multiple calls reporting a one-vehicle crash in front of 40 E. Burlington St. and found the driver unresponsive, according to Riverside police.
An officer found a man unresponsive in a 2009 Toyota that had driven off the roadway, police said. After attempting to bang on the vehicle’s doors and windows, the officer unsuccessfully tried to use a lock out kit to get the driver out of the vehicle before using a baton to break the passenger side window.
Michael Mola, of Oak Brook, was unresponsive but breathing when paramedics arrived at the scene. Mola responded after being administered three shots of Narcan, which is used to treat overdoses in emergency situations, and was then transferred to MacNeal Hospital in Berwyn for follow-up care, police said.
“I am extremely thankful that this incident ended up with no loss of life,” Riverside police chief Thomas Weitzel said in a statement. “Mr. Mola could have easily struck another vehicle and/or a pedestrian on the sidewalk as this is a heavily traveled area by both vehicles and pedestrians.”
The investigation revealed that Mola had driven to Berwyn to visit a friend and snorted heroin with his friend’s adult daughter. Mola admitted to snorting the heroin and taking Vicodin that was not prescribed to him, police said.
During his drive home from Berwyn to Oak Brook, Mola told police he felt ill and light-headed, then drove off the roadway toward the sidewalk in Riverside. He conceded that was the last thing he remembered and was found with Vicodin in his pockets, police said.
Mola, who has no prior criminal history, was charged with drugged driving – heroin, possession of a controlled substance and several other traffic tickets related to the incident, police said. After receiving treatment, he was released into police custody later Wednesday night.
“This is another example of how heroin has taken a grip on everyday people,” Weitzel added in the statement.
The first officer that arrived on the scene suffered minor hand injuries when he broke out the window and attempted to resuscitate Mola. The officer was treated by Riverside paramedics but did not require hospitalization, police said.