Cooper had overdosed on heroin while celebrating her 27th birthday. Her 3-year-old son was strapped in the back seat. The only thing keeping the van from rolling into traffic was a pothole stopping the passenger side wheel. Gates told WCPO that the boy was half dressed and had no coat on.
"By the grace of God that van didn't roll out into traffic. She could've been dead and the kid could've been dead too," Gates told WCPO. He put the car in park and turned it off. He then put a coat on Cooper's son, who was freezing in the back seat. First responders arrived shortly afterwards to revive Cooper with Narcan. Cooper's father told WCPO that she had been clean for a year and a half before a friend recently drew her back into the cycle of addiction. The boy is now staying with his grandfather as Cooper heads to jail on child endangerment and drug possession charges. She was also ordered to stay away from her son.
Cooper's story is becoming all too common. Between 2012 and 2015 there was a 39 percent increase in heroin deaths in America, according to the New York Times. Lt. Bruce Hoffbauer, commander of the Cincinnati Police Traffic Section, told WCPO that there have been 148 operating while intoxicated tickets due to heroin just this year.