Police say teen driver huffed air duster before rolling car

Posted at 10:46 PM, Jan 17, 2012
and last updated 2012-01-23 18:34:38-05

Syracuse Police say 18-year-old Spencer Nicolas huffed air duster before rolling his car while he was driving with another teen Sunday.

Police say Nicolas passed out and the other teen grabbed the wheel, but it was going too fast and car rolled several times.

The other teen wasn't hurt, while Nicolas ended up at Mckay Dee Hospital with minor injuries. Nicolas has been released and faces four charges, including DUI.           

Syracuse police say this is their second huffing incident of the year, just three weeks into 2012. The last incident, police say a woman stole air duster from a Walmart, went and huffed it in her car and passed out.

“I don't think these kids realize how dangerous it can be until they end up rolling a car. And fortunately, the injuries could have been a lot more severe than they were. But ultimately it could result in death,” said Syracuse Police Det. Heath Rogers.

Air duster is typically used to clean electronics or any area where dust builds up – commonly used on computer keyboards. The accelerant that forces the air out of the can is the chemical that produces the high when inhaled.

FOX 13 learned that in 2010, southern Utah had several incidents of people huffing while driving.St. GeorgePolice told FOX 13 they handled half a dozen crashes where drivers were high on inhalants. Investigators say huffing is nothing new, but using air duster to get high is relatively new trend and something they have seen only in the past couple years.