The bodies of an Spirit Airlines pilot and his wife were discovered by the couples four children. Toxicology reports say the couple overdosed on cocaine and carfentanil, a drug so powerful its primary use is to tranquilize rhinos and elephants,
The overdose was accidental. Brian Halye, 36, and Courtney Halye, 34, of Ohio, found themselves victims of the opioid epidemic hitting the United States.
The fact that Halye was an airplane pilot, and his last flight was less than a week before his death has customers shocked.
While the overdose was clearly an accident, authorities are not sure if the couple knew they were injesting carfentanil.
The deaths came a week after Brian Halye’s last flight, prompting criticism of the random system used to test pilots.
Local health officials say the results are consistent with an increasing pattern of people using extremely powerful drugs, and combining potent opioids like fentanyl and carfentanil with cocaine and other drugs.
The autopsy does not make clear if the Halyes knew the cocaine they were taking contained carfentanil — a synthetic opioid 100 times stronger than fentanyl and 1,000 times more powerful than morphine.
It does indicate, however, that both Halyes took the drug by injection. Courtney Halye had needle puncture marks on her right thigh and left wrist, the report shows, while Brian Halye had a single needle puncture mark on his right arm.
Intentionally injecting cocaine into the body with morphine, heroin or other drugs is known as a “speedball.”
The powerful concoction has killed celebrities, including former Saturday Night Live star John Belushi more than three decades ago.