Community Rallying To Stop Spike In Possible Heroin Deaths
Family and friends of a man who died from a heroin overdose are pushing to eradicate the drug from their community.
The Fayette County Coroner said he is investigating four recent deaths as possible heroin overdoses.
"They wouldn't let me in the life squad and they wouldn't let me back in the room with him at the hospital," said mother Michelle Gray. "As a mother, that's the worst. We are always supposed to be there for our kids."
Gray didn't get see her son, Taylor Richardson, the day he died.
He was found by his father. She says he'd overdosed on heroin.
"He was an athlete, good grades," said Gray. "He was a good kid."
Josh Coulter was with Richardson the night before, hanging out.
"He told me he was ready for the weekend. We were going to hang out and then," said Coulter.
Gray says Richardson had been battling drugs for a few years but had been clean for nine months.
"I had taken him the day before for a drug test and he passed," said Coulter.
So Richardson's death was an emotional barb but also a wake up call about a bigger problem here.
"It's kind of hard to walk down the street in this town, in this county, without it right there on the corner," said Gray.
It lit a fire under Coulter to battle the problem. He started "Taylor's Cause".
The group is selling T-shirts and signs.
"They're scattered throughout Court House, they're uptown in businesses, they're in people's front yards," said Coulter.
And a social media push, all to encourage people to stay off drugs and raise funds.
"We want to use the money for Fayette County," said Gray.
Coulter and Gray say the county needs a rehab facility. They also want to lobby for tougher punishment for drug offenses. Both say, it's in Richarson's name, but it's about so much more.
"We want to help other addicts, we want to help families of addicts," said Gray
The group is planning a candlelight vigil Sunday night at 7pm in Washington Court House, at the courthouse.