Lincoln County deputy overdoses after fentanyl exposure during traffic stop

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Warning: This video contains images that some may find disturbing. 

LINCOLN COUNTY, Tenn. – The Lincoln County Sheriff’s office wants to warn the public of the dangers of fentanyl after one of their deputies almost died during a routine traffic stop.

In the early hours of May 30, a traffic stop turned into a chase across Lincoln County, Tennessee. Authorities said after the suspect crashed, Lincoln County Sheriff Deputy Trent Layman searched his pockets and nearly died.

“Whenever I went to search his front right pocket I pulled… I could feel something in there and didn’t know what it was. So I pulled it out and I guess the wind hit perfect and I think when you watch the body cam you can see in the light the particles come up,” Layman said.

The sheriff’s office said those particles were fentanyl. In less than 30 seconds, Layman was down. He said if it wasn’t for his fellow deputies, he doesn’t believe he would be alive.

“I wouldn’t be here. There’s no way. I would have never made it,” Layman said.

Deputy Justin Gault recalled the moment he thought he might lose his friend.

“Just trying to be there for him really. And just hold his hand,” Gault said. “We was scared that he wasn’t going to make it for probably a minute or so. I was really scared.”

Layman said he’s blessed that he had backup that night. He said he hopes people realize the seriousness of fentanyl and how important Narcan is.

“I just hope everybody takes it serious, as in… within 15 seconds you know it is … you could not be here anymore. And I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for my guys,” Layman said.

The sheriff’s office now has protocols in place to make sure deputies have the life-saving drug on them, in case they need it.

“They ordered us hard cases where they are going to be in a specific spot on our belt,” Layman said. “Everybody has to wear it that way. That’s going to be the best thing so nobody is confused about where it is.”

Sergeant Tull Malone was also on scene the night Layman almost died.

“Times have changed. The drugs are powerful, Malone said. “Luckily we had what we needed that night. If we hadn’t, it would be a whole different ballgame.”

Layman has since returned to work and is said to be doing well.

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