Debris littered a highway. A car sat split in two. A young man was dead. At first, the horrific crash that killed 20-year-old Harley Johnson seemed inexplicable. That night, he drove eastbound in the westbound lane for six miles on Highway 283 in Pennsylvania before crashing head-on into a tractor-trailer hauling cattle. Police suspected the young man was taking some sort of narcotic. Blood tests showed the presence of the prescription drug Adderall in Johnson's system. Now Johnson's mother, Sandi Zook, is speaking out to warn others of the drug that claimed her son's life.
Adderall is an amphetamine commonly prescribed for people with ADHD, and abused by some looking to stave off fatigue. Zook told WGAL 8 she thinks her son was taking the drug to cope with his busy schedule of work, college classes, and band practice.
"He had such a busy, active lifestyle that I really think that he was just trying to stay awake and try and keep up with everything that was going on."
When taken recreationally, Adderall can cause blood-pressure spikes, confusion and dizziness. Johnson's stepfather, Chip Zook, told WGAL 8 that though Johnson had recently lost a lot of weight, the family had no idea he might have a drug problem. Sandi Zook is on a mission to prevent more deaths from this drug.
"You got to know the consequences of taking this drug, because it's very dangerous," Zook told WGAL 8.