QUEEN CREEK, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) — Queen Creek school officials say a 16-year-old boy got drugs from family members, leading to a suspected deadly overdose.
A spokesperson for the Queen Creek Police Department says officers were called to Canyon State Academy around 10:40 p.m. for reports of three students experiencing a medical emergency. All were taken to a nearby hospital, where one 16-year-old boy later died. The two other students were roommates who were taken to the hospital as a precautionary measure. Academy officials say that both have been medically cleared.
Former student Chris Nixon says he had some bad experiences at the school, including when he had to go to the hospital after he was given the wrong medication. In addition, he says he witnessed other troubling things in his two years at Canyon State Academy. “During that time I witnessed kids who had a lot of behavioral issues and would struggle with violence or getting sexually assaulted by other kids,” he said.
He adds security is strict at the school. “They make sure you don’t have anything on you so I would say it’s pretty slim that they would be able to get anything in there, but it isn’t impossible necessarily.”
Queen Creek police confirm that there have been no arrests or citations as of now but that the investigation is ongoing. Attorney Ben Taylor says the family member involved in the student’s death could face charges. “They would be facing a murder charge, so looking at prison time,” he said.
The specific charges would depend on what the investigation finds, but Taylor says charges could include manslaughter and negligent homicide. Additional charges for the other two teens hospitalized are also possible. Taylor also says the school could face legal ramifications. “The academy could be facing some civil lawsuit in regards to what knowledge did they have and which protections did they have over the young students that were there,” he explained.
Investigators are still looking into the incident and awaiting medical reports to find out the cause of death. It’s unknown what drugs the students took. The school says they are fully cooperating with the investigation.
The school issued a statement regarding the student’s death.
We are deeply saddened a student passed away last night at a local hospital after ingesting an unknown substance. As a precautionary measure, roommates were taken to the hospital on an non-emergency basis and medically cleared.
While the incident is under investigation, early sources suggest the substances were supplied by the deceased youth’s family. The presence of illegal drugs within the community continues to be a threat for all youth, and any drug-related loss of life is tragic. We remain grateful to our staff, first responders, law enforcement, and the Town of Queen Creek for their medical attention and immediate response. We appreciate the community support for allowing our students, staff, and family to heal.
correction: A push notification sent out Wednesday morning (10/5) on the AZFamily app incorrectly stated the overdose was due to Fentanyl. Investigators have not determined what drug was used. Arizona's Family regrets the error.
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