Dallas Man Found Dead After 911 Confusion

911 call about overdose came in 11 minutes after unrelated overdose call at same apartment complex

View Comments ()
|
Email
|
Print

    NEWSLETTERS

    Matthew Sanchez died after a drug overdose. Now there are questions over two different calls to 911 from the same apartment complex which may have lead to some confusion on where emergency crews should go. (Published Friday, Nov 30, 2012)

    Dallas' 911 call center is again under scrutiny after a man was found dead of an apparent overdose hours after a friend called 911 to report it.

    A friend used Matthew Sanchez's cellphone to call 911 on the morning of Nov. 16 at about 2:55 a.m., investigators said. The caller then fled in Sanchez's car.

    Dispatchers were already working on a call about an overdose at the same apartment complex, the Bear Creek Apartments, that came in 11 minutes earlier.

    "Two calls at the same exact apartment complex -- the unit numbers are very similar," Dallas Fire-Rescue spokesman Lt. Joel Lavender said. "Even the location of the cell calls are very similar."

    Lavender said that the dispatcher noticed the similarity between the calls and the location and tried to verify if there were two separate incidents. The dispatcher asked the first caller if he had placed a second call to 911 and then gave him the phone number used to place the call about Sanchez.

    "He for some reason says 'yes,' so in our minds, we put both calls together and then moved forward," Lavender said. "It wasn't until later that we learned some type of confusion had occurred."

    Sanchez's family found his body inside his apartment shortly after 9 a.m.

    Investigators said the confusion could have been avoided if Sanchez's friend had stayed on the line.

    The fire department is working to determine if the emergency calls were properly handled.

    "Right now, we're just looking into the actions of our dispatcher," Lavender said. "We believe he made the right choice with the information he had in hand, and we're going to move forward to see if there are any other best practices that we can use within the department."

    Dallas police are also investigating Sanchez's friend for taking the victim's car and leaving the scene.