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FCSO Deputy Hospitalized After Fentanyl Exposure During Traffic Stop

ⓒ Flagler County Sheriff's Office

BUNNELL – Deputy Nick Huzior of the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office was hospitalized on Thursday after apparent exposure to fentanyl, a deadly narcotic commonly found in law enforcement drug busts. He has already been released after receiving treatment.

The incident reportedly began when multiple 911 calls were placed about a driver fleeing a hit-and-run accident in Bunnell, before then driving recklessly and erratically on SR-11. The vehicle apparently almost wrecked during the ordeal, but eventually came to a stop voluntarily. Bystanders stood with the driver while they waited on deputies to arrive to the scene.

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According to the FCSO’s statement, police could see narcotics, an empty beer can, and a shooter of alcohol in plain view looking into the car. With this cause for suspicion they removed the driver, 61-year-old Crescent City resident George Clemons, and conducted field sobriety tests. He was then placed under arrest for driving under the influence, with several additional possession charges later being given to him. His bond is set at $25,500.

Suspect George Clemons. ⓒ Flagler County Sheriff’s Office

At this point Deputy Huzior began to conduct a test on a reported white, powdery substance found in Clemons’ car. He was wearing the appropriate personal protective equipment, police say, but nonetheless began to feel light-headed. Huzior was then shown on bodycam video walking over to Deputy First Class Kyle Gaddie in the patrol car and telling him what was going on. As Huzior began to lose feeling in his arms and legs, Gaddie administered a dose of Narcan, an emergency treatment for narcotics overdoses.

Huzior sat on the ground next to the police car as Gaddie continued to care for him, and a second dose of Narcan was given as Huzior’s condition apparently didn’t improve. EMT units, contacted quickly by Gaddie at Huzior’s request, arrived and transported him to AdventHealth Palm Coast for further treatment. Tests there would confirm that Huzior was presumptive positive for fentanyl.

“What happened yesterday is a perfect example of the dangers law enforcement face each and every day from poison on the streets,” said Flagler Sheriff Rick Staly following the dramatic incident. “Thankfully our deputies are well trained and equipped with Narcan which allowed DFC Gaddie to potentially save the life of a fellow deputy. I would also like to thank the Good Samaritans who stopped to check on Deputy Huzior and Gaddie while they were waiting for EMS as well as Flagler County Fire Rescue and AdventHealth – Palm Coast for taking care of him.”

Bodycam footage of the incident was made available by the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office, shown here:

Written By

Chris Gollon is a Flagler County resident since 2004, as well as a staple of the local independent music scene and avid observer of Central Florida politics, arts, and recreation.

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