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A crew member of a towboat traveling the Tombigbee River apparently died of a drug overdose Friday, Aug. 19.
The Clarke County Sheriff’s Office was called for assistance about 7:20 a.m. and deputies, along with law enforcement officers from other agencies, responded to Campbell’s Landing in northwestern Clarke County where the boat had stopped.
The crewman was apparently dead in his bunk. A second crewman was “barely hanging on,” as one deputy put it. He was given several doses of Narcan, an antidote for drug overdose, by EMTs with ASAP Ambulance Service. As he was being put in the ambulance for transport to the Thomasville Regional Medical Center he revived to say that he had used heroin.
Deputies found a small amount of an off-white substance that may have been heroin in the room where the subjects slept. Other drugs, possibly cocaine, and drug paraphernalia were found also.
The drugs will be sent to the forensics lab in Mobile to be tested to see if they are laced with fentanyl.
Sheriff DeWayne Smith declined to identify either of the men as the matter is still under investigation. They are from Louisiana.
The boat, out of Illinois, is owned by Knight Towing Company and was pushing several empty barges. The barges were nosed into the bank at Campbell’s Landing and lawmen used a ladder to access the towboat.
The name of the boat was not immediately available.
Sheriff Smith said the owner of the vessel asked that it be swept for drugs and that was done.
Sheriff Smith said that the U.S. Coast Guard is investigating with assistance from the sheriff’s office and other law enforcement agencies.
Local lawmen have not made any arrests in the case.