Karli Casey, 19, of Palatine admitted to police that she inhaled the contents of an aerosol keyboard cleaner before she passed out, crossed the center line of Northwest Highway and crashed head-on into a 2006 Honda Accord Saturday night. The crash injured five people. A 41-year-old male driver and an 84-year-old female passenger were injured in the Honda. The female passenger suffered multiple fractures and a ruptured spleen from trauma caused by the crash. Both victims in the Honda were transported to Northwest Community Hospital in Arlington Heights. Two female passengers in their 20’s in Casey’s Mitsubishi Lancer were transported to Alexian Brothers Medical Center in Elk Grove Village. Karli Casey was transported to St. Alexius Medical Center in Hoffman Estates, where she was treated and released.
Palatine police and firefighter/paramedics responded about 9:24 p.m. Saturday to rollover crash at Northwest Highway and 1st Bank Drive. Firefighters received a report that a silver Mitsubishi Lancer was rolled on its side and on fire with three people trapped in the car. There was also a second vehicle reported in the crash.
Firefighters reported gasoline leaking, but did not report a fire. Firefighters had a hose line standing by on the crash scene during rescue operations.
Huffing and Dusting
Aerosol keyboard cleaners usually contain hydrofluorocarbons, organic solvents and ethylene glycol. All three chemicals are potentially fatal if taken in high doses.
In summary, the hydrofluorocarbon HFC-134a can cause asphyxiation and sudden cardiac arrest if inhaled in high doses.
The hydrofluorocarbon HFC-152a is a less potent version of the hydrofluorocarbon.
2-Butoxyethanol is an organic solvent and a blood toxin that can affect target organs (brain, lungs, liver and kidneys).
Ethylene glycol is a poisonous alcohol commonly used in anti-freeze. Ethylene glycol is fatal if ingested.
Teens call the practice of inhaling keyboard cleaner “dusting” based on the cleaning brand Dust Off or other cleaning dusters. The term “Huffing” is also used, but “Dusting” refers specifically to the use of keyboard dust cleaners.
Karli Casey admitted inhaling the intoxicant immediately before the crash in a verbal and written statement, according to police. She faces a felony intoxicating driving charge.
The news of Casey’s confession comes out the same week that the media was highlighting teen abuse of ingesting hand sanitizer to get up high from the ethanol contained in hand cleaners.
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