3 students overdose in Martin County, sheriff says

Three students overdose in Martin County. (Martin County Sheriff's Office)

Three high school students overdosed in Martin County on Tuesday, the sheriff's office said.

It happened to two students at Martin County High School, and one student at South Fork High School, authorities said. The ages of the students weren't released, but authorities did confirm it was two boys and a girl.

The sheriff's office said the students smoked an unknown substance in a vape pen. Investigators do not know what the substance was, but could've been a combination of synthetics.

"School administrators have been made aware that students are using vape pens on school campuses," Martin County School District Superintendent Laurie Gaylord said during a robo call out sent out to all parents Tuesday afternoon. "These pens contain THC oil laced with dangerous unknown substances."

The students went to the hospital with non life-threatening injuries.

Lt. Ryan Grimsdale , a school resource deputy with the Martin County Sheriff's Office, first responded to a medical call at South Fork High School. Based on the symptoms the student was presenting, he realized the student was overdosing and they were taken to the hospital. About an hour or two later, Grimsdale said two other teens overdosed at Martin County High School.

"When we see multiple events within a short period, that raises our concerns really kicks everything into high gear," Grimsdale said. "What was the causation? Where did it come from? Where did they get it? Why did they have it?"

Grimsdale said that's what they're focused on now, getting to the bottom of exactly what this drug is and how to keep the students safe. He expressed this is a statewide epidemic, teens using vape pens for illicit drugs and it was just a matter of time before it got to Martin County.

"Kids are supposed to go to school, sitting in classrooms being educated and getting yelled out for running down the hallway," he said. "They're not supposed to be transported by ambulance because of an overdose."

Grimsdale and Gaylord urge parents to talk to their children about the dangers. These three students are expected to be OK, but this could have ended very differently.

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