Fresno police officer takes emergency treatment after possible fentanyl exposure, but opioids not found

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A Fresno police officer got a major scare and took an emergency treatment for possible exposure to fentanyl at the scene of a car crash.

Testing at the crash site showed the officer probably wasn't exposed to fentanyl, but he felt dizzy and light-headed and it got progressively worse.

He's getting a full battery of tests at Community Regional Medical Center now after getting emergency help when he fell to the ground Thursday morning.

The collision had a run-of-the-mill look to it. One car rear-ended another on a side street near Shaw and Brawley at about 10 am.

Police suspected the 30-year-old man who caused the crash was intoxicated, and they could see he had injuries from going head first into his own windshield.

"We had three officers at the time here," said Deputy Fresno Police Chief Michael Reid at the scene of the crash. "One of the officers got out of the car after he was trying to help him out and felt a little bit dizzy, felt kind of light-headed."

The officer stepped away and then got called to a second crash not far away, at Shaw and Highway 99.

Police say he started feeling even worse, so he parked his motorcycle and sat down.

When his dizziness escalated, he lay down right there on the road and called for help.

"Units start me an ambulance to Shaw and 99," he reported to dispatch. "I'm having difficulty breathing due to, due to ... stay away from that car."

Off-duty Fresno County sheriff's deputy Nathaniel Wilkinson found him on the ground, and when the police officer said fentanyl exposure could be making him sick, the deputy administered the officer's emergency opioid overdose reversal.

"We give the Narcan (naloxone) nasal inhaler to our officers to use in case there is an exposure, so these symptoms were consistent with an exposure," said Deputy Chief Reid.

Police and firefighters closed off the street and kept people away from the car and sent a HAZMAT team in to sample the air and the inside of the car.

Testing showed no signs of fentanyl.

Police say neither the DUI suspect nor the other officers on the scene showed any symptoms of fentanyl exposure, but they're still monitoring everyone and conducting tests to figure out what happened to the officer.
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