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Langley teen overdose victim would have helped others if given the chance, family says

Overdose victim’s family urges against vigilantism
After the tragic death of 14-year-old Carson Crimeni in a Langley skatepark, his family is urging the public not to take actions into their own hands. Kirsten Robinson has more.

The family of a Langley teen who died of a suspected drug overdose says he would have helped if his role was reversed with any of the teens who allegedly watched him ingest harmful amounts of drugs.

“He had a really big heart, he would help anybody,” Carson Crimeni’s grandfather Darrel Crimeni said. “He would be the first one if somebody fell down to go see if they needed help, if they were hurt.”

Carson was found alone and unconscious in a ditch near the Walnut Grove Skate Park Wednesday night.

READ MORE: ‘They knew he was dying’ — Father of Langley teen overdose victim wants bystanders charged

Langley RCMP say the death is being investigated as a potential overdose. The BC Coroners Service and the Independent Investigations Office are also investigating.

Crimeni told Global News he went looking for Carson after receiving a panicked call from his son Aron, the boy’s father, who told him Carson was late coming home.

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When Crimeni entered the park near his Walnut Grove home, he saw flashing red lights and followed them until he came across Carson.

“There was a police car there with two police officers who had just gotten out of their car and Carson was laying on the cement up against a screen fence,” recalled Crimeni, who said he was terrified to see his only grandson fighting for his life.

WATCH: (Aug. 9) Friends and peers mourn Langley teen’s apparent overdose

Friends and peers mourn Langley teen’s apparent overdose
Friends and peers mourn Langley teen’s apparent overdose

“He was breathing, not well,” he said. “He was not conscious, not responsive.

“The police tried to administer oxygen to him … a few minutes later the ambulance came and took him away.”

Crimeni says medical teams also tried to save Carson at the hospital.

“There must have been 12 people in the operating room but they couldn’t save him,” he said.

READ MORE: ‘It’s so wrong’: Family, peers call for justice in apparent overdose death of Langley teen

The grieving grandfather believes Carson was trying to make it home when he became unconscious in the ditch.

“Where he collapsed, where we found him was only maybe a couple hundred yards from my house where he has a bedroom here.”

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What Carson ingested, how much or who may have given him the drugs, remains unclear.

Hours earlier, the 14-year old spent time at the Walnut Grove skate park, where a disturbing video appearing to show his final hours of life was filmed.

WATCH: (Aug. 9) Father of dead Langley teen demands justice for son

Father of dead Langley teen demands justice for son
Father of dead Langley teen demands justice for son

The video, circulated on Snapchat and other social media platforms before being sent to Global News, shows Carson appearing to be in distress and high on drugs.

The footage, which suggests Carson was high on several doses of “molly” or MDMA, was posted online before anyone called 911.

“It was extremely hard to watch. It was upsetting, brought tears to my eyes, hard to believe, it was hard to believe,” Crimeni said.

READ MORE: Langley teen’s skate park death ‘believed to be an overdose’: RCMP

The family is now hoping the teens seen laughing at Carson in the video are charged.

RCMP have not confirmed whether they are pursuing any charges, but say they are investigating.

What is the Good Samaritan law?

Social media experts say we shouldn’t be surprised that children are inclined to document and share video online before doing the right thing.

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“As much as we would hope that kids would pick up the phone and call 911, there are segments of youth population that are just more inclined to document something than they are to advocate for the best interests of the individual,” Jesse Miller said.

Miller, the founder of Mediated Reality, says young people need to be better educated about Canada’s Good Samaritan law.

READ MORE: ‘It would have saved my son’: Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act becomes law in Canada

Since May 2017, the Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act has provided some legal protection for people who experience or witness an overdose and call 911 for help.

The enactment amended the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act in order to exempt people from drug possession or other charges if they seek emergency assistance for themselves or another person following an overdose.

Although the Good Samaritan law was introduced to help combat the opioid crisis, it applies to all controlled substances or illegal drugs.

WATCH: Good Samaritan law debuts in Canada

‘It would have saved my son’: Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act becomes law
‘It would have saved my son’: Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act becomes law

“The intention … is to ensure people are motivated to help anyone affected by an overdose without concern for their legal jeopardy,” said criminal lawyer Kyla Lee.

“If Carson took MDMA, the Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act would still apply to his circumstances, and had someone stepped in to help they likely would have avoided any potential legal liability.”

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Other legal experts have suggested because the teens didn’t take advantage of that law, the video could be used to lay charges of criminal negligence causing death.

In a statement released Saturday by Carson’s father Aron, he urges the public to trust the RCMP, and not to take matters into their own hands.

READ MORE: Mother of murdered Surrey teen Dario Bartoli says he would still be alive if help arrived sooner

“We understand that these events have emotionally affected many people, and we ask that the community let the police do their investigation to get us answers and justice,” it reads.

“It is important to all of us that the evidence be the proper foundation of any prosecution for these boys.”

Darrel Crimeni echoed that message.

“We need the police to do their work and we don’t need the people trying to act on their own,” he said.

Crimeni is asking anyone who was at the skate park Wednesday night, or any other key witnesses to step up and call the Langley RCMP’s 24-hour tipline 604-532-3398.

“I hope some good comes out of this. I hope some parents and children learn a lesson.”