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Mon April 16, 2012
Casper police say that huffing is a growing problem
A Casper woman who huffed compressed air before causing a fatal car crash will spend at least eight years in prison. Heather Marie Christensen, 39, plead guilty to aggravated vehicular homicide last week.
Authorities say in November, she and her friend, Richard Condelario, 50, bought dust cleaner at Walmart before driving toward Christensen’s home.
Christensen says she doesn’t remember striking another vehicle, orthe wreck that killed her friend.
Sgt. Deahn Amend of Casper police says wrecks caused by people who have been huffing have become more common in recent years.
“You may lose track of time. It’s common for people to pass out … And if you have someone who’s going to get in the car and drive, they take a hit off this propellant drug, they may lose awareness for some time.”
And Amend suspects there are more resulting car crashes in recent years.
“It happens more often than we know about because the results are so quickly dissipating. I’m sure that there are crashes that we haven’t diagnosed the cause of the crash correctly, because people can be on Dust Off, and the effects fade.”
Amend says Casper Police are now trained to check for symptoms of huffing during traffic stops and crash investigations.