NJ family faults cops, EMTs after ill man dies in SC crash
A Hunterdon County family still seeks answers months after a 26-year-old man was killed in a pedestrian accident in South Carolina, just hours after being evaluated by EMTs and police.
Paul Tarashuk Jr. lived with schizoaffective disorder, according to his family.
On Sept. 9, 2018, he was naked and had climbed onto a tractor-trailer on the side of a highway when authorities first picked him up.
His interaction with three EMT responders and police was caught in part by an officer's body camera, as reported and shared by Channel 12 WRDW.
According to the same report, Cynthia Tarashuk, Paul's mother, said an officer dropped him off, alone, at a closed gas station.
He was struck and killed hours later, and the same EMT crew that had treated him hours earlier was called to the scene.
Toxicology reports show Tarashuk had no drugs in his system, as reported by WRDW.
The gas station was less than a mile from where Tarashuk's car was found stuck in a ravine, according to Cynthia Tarashuk. She said she still has not been given an answer as to why her son was left at the business that was closed for the night.
"Awareness is our goal so that this doesn't happen again to another person with a mental illness," Cynthia Tarashuk said in a post to the Facebook group, Justice for Paul Tarashuk; Make Change for Others, which has more than 1,550 members.
A main focus of the social media group has been writing letters to South Carolina officials, requesting a full investigation of the EMT and law enforcement who interacted with Tarashuk, in the hours ahead of his death.
Also missing since September, is Paul Tarashuk's emotional support dog. Giuseppe, or "Zepi," is a 7-year old female, black cocker spaniel. There is a separate Facebook campaign aimed at trying to find the pet.
Tarashuk was a 2011 graduate of Hunterdon Central Regional High School. His family lives in Raritan Township but he has recently begun living in Delaware at the time of his death.
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