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Pa. Officer Exposed to Drug, Given Narcan

May 28--A Washington Township police officer was given Narcan and taken to a Monroeville hospital early Sunday morning after coming into contact with suspected heroin, fentanyl or both, the department said.

The incident happened just before 12:30 a.m. on Route 356 near Reservoir Road.

Washington Township Sgt. Vincent Surace said officers were sent to the scene for a one-vehicle crash and found the driver intoxicated. The driver was identified as Travis Ross, 34, of Leechburg. He was placed under arrest by Officer Kenneth Sebastian for DUI.

A second officer, who Surace declined to name, had reached into Ross' vehicle to get his license when he was exposed to the substance.

According to Surace, the officer began to feel burning in his chest and developed a rapid heartbeat. Medics rushed to the scene and administered two doses of Narcan, an opioid-overdose antidote, before taking the officer to Forbes Regional Hospital, where he was treated and released.

The officer "is doing well at this time," Surace said, adding he couldn't say how the drug got into the officer's system.

In addition to DUI, Ross faces charges of resisting arrest, possession of a controlled substance and summary citations.

The investigation is still pending, Surace said.

As the Tribune-Review reported last week , a police officer in East Liverpool, Ohio -- about 25 miles north of Steubenville and a five-minute drive from the Pennsylvania border -- overdosed this month when he patted down a man who was covered in fentanyl powder.

Patrolman Chris Green was assisting with a May 12 arrest of a man with suspected drugs in his car. Green patted the man down, not realizing until after that fentanyl powder was on the man's shirt. Finding powder on his own shirt, Green used his hand to brush it off.

Within seconds, he was overdosing. It took four doses of Narcan to revive him completely.

___ (c)2017 The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (Greensburg, Pa.) Visit The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (Greensburg, Pa.) at www.triblive.com Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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