Man aged just 25 died from cocaine-fuelled heart failure after running bare-chested in traffic

Cocaine has been blamed for the death of a 25-year-old man, whose heart stopped after a delirious spell which saw him running about topless in traffic.

By Adam Kula
Monday, 25th April 2022, 5:07 pm
A vial of cocaine (from Creative Commons' Stockcatalog)
A vial of cocaine (from Creative Commons' Stockcatalog)

Scott Robert Patrick Foster died at Craigavon Area Hospital on May 29 last year, having suffered from mental problems for years.

Now a coroner’s investigation into the case has revealed the final moments of Mr Foster, and the cause of his demise.

Listed on the inquest form as a labourer from Gilford village, Co Down, Mr Foster was suspected to have had Borderline Personality Disorder, and was on the prescription drugs propranolol, pregabalin, and mirtazapine.

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He also abused alcohol, cocaine, and ketamine.

His inquest found that on the day of his death he was seen acting “erratically” around Gilford.

“He was not wearing any clothing on the upper part of his body and was seen running between moving traffic,” the inquest findings state.

“He also ran into a local shop and was behaving in a strange manner which turned violent, before he collapsed to the ground behind the cash desk.”

His sister was on the scene, and when police arrived and asked what was wrong, she replied: “Drugs, as usual.”

He was breathing fast and had a very quick heartbeat.

Just as the ambulance was setting off, he went into cardiac arrest.

He was pronounced dead at the hospital at 5.58pm.

The inquest findings say this: “Cocaine is a strong stimulant made from the leaves of the coca plant, which comes originally from South America.

“It is the most common drug-related emergency in Emergency Departments.”

Mr Foster had also had some alcohol in the run up to his collapse, and the coroner notes that “the risk of sudden death is 18 times greater when alcohol and cocaine are used together; what is even worse is you can’t see it coming - you could be feeling completely fine one minute and dead the next”.

The coroner, Joe McCrisken, concluded: “It’s my opinion that, on balance, Mr Foster died primarily as a result of cardiac arrest following an Acute Behavioural Disturbance caused by cocaine toxicity.”

He delivered his findings on March 18; these were then issued to the News Letter earlier this month.

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