Grandmother overdoses on heroin with infant in backseat, police say

ELYRIA, Ohio -- An Ohio grandmother is charged with child endangerment after she was found passed out in her truck with her 8-month-old grandson in the backseat.

The 56-year-old was left in tears after seeing pictures of emergency crews rescuing her 8-month-old grandson from her locked pickup truck. A rescue team revived her after police say she overdosed on heroin while she was behind the wheel.

"I feel so bad for the boy's parents. I wasn't thinking," Debra Hyde told WEWS.

Crews on the scene had to break out two windows to get Hyde and her grandson from the truck which was still running and in drive in front of a large wall of propane tanks.

Hyde said she was severely depressed over the recent loss of her husband and that it was the first time she had taken a heroin.

"What compelled you to take it at that moment parked in that gas station?" the reporter asked.

"I don't know, sir. I don't know. I wish I could answer that," Hyde said.

"The responders came so quick they are the true heroes," witness Raylene Crofts said.

Crofts noticed Hyde unconscious in her truck and dialed 911. She was stunned to learn Hyde had already been released from jail.
"She's an adult, she can care for herself and make her own choices that baby could not. I do think if the child is involved the punishment should be stricter for sure," Crofts said.

"God bless that she did take the time and noticed that something was wrong," Hyde said.

She credited Crofts with saving her life and issued this warning about heroin.

"One time. Do you want to take that chance? No. It's not worth it. It's not worth it. It doesn't solve your problems. It's just gonna make loved ones hurt in the end," Hyde said.

The baby is now in the custody of children services. Police said Hyde faces a $1,000 fine, a child endangering charge and court-ordered counseling. More charges could be on the way.

If this story sounds familiar, it's because there is a similar recent case, also out of Ohio. Police in the city of East Liverpool posted a photo to Facebook showing a man and woman passed out in a car with a child in the backseat. The woman was the 4-year-old boy's grandmother.