Knoxville Police responded to a car crash in the parking lot of KARM off Hall of Fame Drive Wednesday morning after they say two men overdosed on heroin behind the wheel.
Cell phone video taken by Marisa Cannida, a witness, showed Knoxville Police officers trying to revive the men.
"The most heartbreaking thing for me when I saw the two guys.They were both overdosing and that was the sad part about it and when you actually experience it, when they almost run you off the road and hit two cars, it’s really sad," Cannida said.
She witnessed what happened with her friend Detriedah Welsh.
"There are a lot of people out there that were like, 'He's overdosing!' I was scared for him because it's happening more and more in the world," Cannida said.
The two women called 911 after they saw they saw the men crash their car into several parked cars.
"Thankfully no one was hurt in this situation, but it could have been worse," Welsh said.
They said first responders arrived immediately and started working to revive the men.
"They saved their lives," Cannida said.
Officers and EMTs used Naloxone on the men.
KPD Chief David Rausch said police have a responsibility and a duty to respond to these types of calls.
"First we need to explain that these are human lives we are dealing with. These are individuals with a disease. Addiction is a disease of the brain," Rausch said.
He compared overdose calls to other medical emergencies.
"This is a disease and what happened was a result of their disease. It's not unlike anyone with another medical emergency," he said.
Rausch acknowledged calls like this pose do a risk to the public.
"Clearly we are not saying this is okay. This obviously is improper and shouldn't happen but we are not going to respond any differently," he said.
Both Cannida and Welsh hope their videos will be a wake up call to the men who overdosed.
"No matter how badly the victims' poor choices were, they still helped them. They didn't think, 'Oh well, they OD'd like the drugs, they did it from drugs.' They responded quickly and they helped them and they saved lives," Cannida said.