Woman refuses medical care after crash in fear of testing positive for heroin

Contributed Photo/Courtesy SPD

By Jon Johnson


SAFFORD – A woman reportedly initially refused all medical care after being involved in a rollover crash Thursday, Oct. 25, because she feared she would test positive for heroin use.

Officers were dispatched to the 2600 block of 20th Avenue at about 9:18 a.m. regarding a motor vehicle crash. Upon arrival, the vehicle was found wrecked in a vehicle just west of the multiuse path.

As the driver, identified as Monica Marie Medrano, 28, of Safford, was being treated at the scene by paramedics from Lifeline Ambulance, she asked if she could have her cell phone.

An officer went to the vehicle to search for the phone and ended up locating a plastic baggie with several small, brown chunky pieces of what was later tested to be heroin. The officer also located Medrano’s cell phone and medication she said she was taking.

Another officer followed paramedics to Mt. Graham Regional Medical Center and questioned Medrano about the heroin. After initially denying possession, Medrano allegedly told the officer that the heroin belonged to her and her boyfriend and that she uses heroin and he sells it.

Medrano refused to allow the officer to draw blood for DUI testing purposes and, according to the officer’s report, said, “No, it hasn’t been long enough. I doubt it’s out of my system.”

Medrano previously was found guilty of Extreme DUI and unlawful use of means of transportation in 2011 and spent time in prison on the charges after her probation was revoked.

Shortly after her interaction with the police officer, an ER doctor advised Medrano wouldn’t allow them to draw any blood or help her medically. The officer spoke to Medrano, who allegedly said she wouldn’t allow the medical assistance because she would test positive for heroin use.

The officer told Medrano that due to her refusal to submit to a blood draw her license would already be automatically suspended for a year and that she was going to be charged with possession of a narcotic drug. The officer informed Medrano that she did not want to hinder her medical treatment, so she would not seek a search warrant for her blood. Medrano than allowed medical staff to treat her.

The officer’s report was sent to the Graham County Attorney’s Office for review and charging.