Driver overdoses on heroin, crashes car with 2 children in backseat, police say

A New York driver is behind bars after police said he suffered a heroin overdose behind the wheel and crashed his car – all while two children were in the backseat.

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According to, 37-year-old Timothy F. Gioia was arrested Monday after motorists saw him swerving and striking a guardrail while driving on Interstate 81 around 4:30 p.m., New York State Police said.

When first responders arrived at the scene in Salina, the Oswego man "was unconscious and struggling to breathe" inside his sedan, which was on the side of the freeway and had a flat tire, the outlet reported. The children, who were 7 and 8 years old, were not hurt, police said.

Gioia regained consciousness after emergency crews gave him Narcan, a drug used to treat opioid overdoses, police told He was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment, then released to police custody, troopers said. He now faces charges of DWI and breaking Leandra's Law, which makes it a felony when an intoxicated driver has a child in the car.

Police said the two children are in the care of a family member.

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Credit: OverHook /

Credit: OverHook /

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