NOTE: A lawsuit only tells one side of a story.
SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — The parents of a 19-year-old woman who was hit in a wrong-way crash in 2021 have filed a lawsuit claiming she died as a result of a ketamine overdose administered by first responders on the scene.
Filed on Monday, April 10, the complaint shows plaintiffs Brett Doner and Heather Myers suing numerous Utah agencies, including Intermountain Health Care, Intermountain Medical Center, Life Flight, Murray City, Murray City Fire Department, Unified Fire Authority, and the Utah Highway Patrol.
The medical malpractice lawsuit alleges Gwendolyn (Gwen) Doner, 19, of Casper, Wyo., survived a head-on vehicular collision on I-215 on April 19, 2021. However, Life Flight and Murray City Fire Department providers responding to the scene injected her with 500 milligrams of ketamine, which is reportedly over 16 times the maximum dosage authorized by the state and county.
Then, first responders allegedly failed to give Doner bag-valve-mask ventilation, causing a fatal anoxic brain injury. Doner never regained consciousness and was pronounced dead at the Intermountain Health Center in Murray around 29 hours later, according to the lawsuit.
The plaintiffs also claimed that IMC providers concealed the ketamine overdose, respiratory arrest and the anoxic brain injury Doner suffered, even after confirming and documenting the brain injury as her cause of death.
Video evidence reportedly shows a first responder at the crash site saying, “I gave her 500 of ketamine. I told her what it was. She gave her the whole d*** thing . . . She wasn’t supposed to give her that much.”
“To this day, despite fiduciary and ethical duties requiring transparency, no defendant has acknowledged the true cause of Gwen’s death—iatrogenic anoxic brain injury,” the lawsuit stated.
The driver who caused the crash, Justin Wayne Robertson, 36, was convicted of murder and nine other charges in August 2021.
Before the crash on I-215, Robertson hit a parked police car in Cottonwood Heights. He then took off, traveling in the wrong direction on the transition ramp to eastbound I-215, where his vehicle collided with two other cars.
Authorities say Robertson was displaying signs of impairment and “stated several times he was high.” The probable cause statement says Robertson admitted to using methamphetamine “10 to 30 minutes prior to the crash.”
ABC4 has reached out to the defendants of the lawsuit. So far, the Utah Highway Patrol has responded saying they have no comment. Intermountain Health responded saying they are unable to answer any questions due to pending litigation and HIPAA laws.