A Victoria teen died after taking drugs that also caused five other youths to overdose, according to a relative of the victim who is now speaking out to warn others from succumbing to the same tragic fate.
Kylie Walker, who had just turned 18, took drugs with her friends in Victoria Thursday night when it happened, her great-uncle Joe Thorne told CHEK News Friday.
“Someone had given her homemade crap, I don’t know what you call that kind of drugs, but a group of kids OD’d,” he said. “The conditions, I don’t know, but my grand-niece is no longer with us.”
Thorne says he’s shocked Walker was using drugs at all and says he never knew, despite his family being close.
“I didn’t know. I thought everything was fine and I was wrong,” he said.
He’s warning parents and kids to be aware of the deadly drugs circulating on Vancouver Island this weekend.
The Cowichan School Trustee and grandfather also put his grief into action by driving around Duncan Friday, looking for at-risk youth and drug users to make them aware.
“And if we can save one of them, then we’ve done something good,” he said.
CHEK News spoke with Helen Bill, a Duncan woman who said she rarely knows what’s in the drugs she’s using.
“Some people say, ‘You be careful, it’s really, really strong.’ That’s when you know,” she said.
“When I tell you that six people overdosed last night, just in Victoria, one group, does it make you leery to take drugs today, or will you take them?” asked reporter Skye Ryan.
“I guess I do worry, yeah,” she replied.
Thorne said drugs users currently on waiting lists for treatment programs need to be given access immediately, and had even stronger words for those who are selling.
“I hope to God everyone of you are busted, I hope to God everyone of guys serve and answer to God the way you should,” he said.
The BC Coroners Service confirmed one fatality from the incident in Victoria Thursday night, but CHEK News’ attempts to contact BC EHS and Island Health for the conditions of the other youth who overdosed with Walker were unsuccessful.
Thorne, with the pain of losing Walker fuelling him, says he plans to continue driving around his community every day, reminding those who are vulnerable that the drugs they’re taking right now may kill them.