Lowell Man Dies Of Possible Drug Overdose After Getting Out Of Rehab

Posted at 8:31 PM, May 02, 2013
and last updated 2013-05-02 20:31:43-04

A man in Lowell died of an apparent drug overdose Wednesday while visiting the Valley Vista Mobile Home Park.

Friend’s say it was the same day that he got out of re-hab.

28-year-old John Hazlett was pronounced dead at the scene by emergency medical crews.

Police say they worked to revive him for at least 45 minutes after they got the call he was unresponsive outside of a home at around 8:30 pm.

A neighbor said Hazlett fell out of the passenger side of a friend’s truck at the residence and was already unresponsive.

Other people who lived in the park say at least two neighbors worked to revive him with CPR, but he was blue and appeared unresponsive as they tried to help as well.

The woman at the home he collapsed in front of called 911 and emergency crews took over the efforts to revive him when they arrived on scene.

“I told my daughter you know, ‘Get in the house. You don`t need to see this’,” said Scott Smith.

Smith lives next door to the lot where medics were working on Hazlett.

He said Hazlett was a close friend of his nephew.

“They gave him shock treatments. They put a tube down his throat, nothing,” said Scott. “His whole face was blue, his lips were blue,” he said.

Smith has known Hazlett since he was a boy. He said the fact that he just got out of rehab that day makes this more of a tragedy.

“I was told yesterday that he got out of the detox, he was clean. His mom was here last night at the end and she said he was trying to change his life around, and then this happens,” said Smith.

Lowell Police Sergeant Steve Bukala said they suspected a drug overdose is what killed Hazlett, although they are waiting on toxicology reports to confirm.

Although they don’t know yet what killed Hazlett, Bukala said there is an alarming trend in the use of injectable drugs in the community.  He said those include heroin or prescription drugs that are crushed up.

Statistics from the Kent County Medical Examiner show this year in Kent County, there were already four confirmed cases of heroin overdoses, four from cocaine, two from methadone, two from alcohol, one from huffing, one from insulin, and three overdoses from prescription drugs.

Those numbers don’t include 13 other pending cases, including Hazlett’s.

In 2012, there were 97 deaths total from overdoses with the most coming from pain killers at 36, then heroin at 19 and methadone at 18.

“It`s just a sad tragedy,” said Scott.

He wants the community to know how dangerous recreational drug use can be as it may have taken the life of his friend, Hazlett.

“I feel really bad for the family and his friends, and im sorry how it all came out,” said Hazlett.