Man causes a crash on the highway while shooting up heroin

CREATED Mar. 12, 2013

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MILWAUKEE - Authorities say 27-year-old Jacob Middleton drifted off I-43 at the 84th street on-ramp Monday afternoon, high on heroin. He rolled across three lanes of traffic, down the hillside, through a sign pole, and into a wall.

It's a story "Tanya" knows all too well.

"The last thing I remember, I was going straight at a cement wall and then the next thing you know I'm on a sidewalk on the southside of Milwaukee and I had no recollection," Tanya said.

Tanya is a recovering heroin addict.

"It was not easy," she said. "I went through depression and adjusting to society again."

She says it's a miracle Middleton didn't kill himself or someone else.

"I've been to a 17-year-old's funeral," she said. "A 16-year-old friend died when I was 16."

Middleton survived, though he suffered facial fractures and a cut above his eye. But there's no telling how much more damage he could have done. A tourniquet, bent needle, and spoon were found in his car along with 18 bindles of heroin totalling nearly two grams.

Even though Tanya doesn't know Middleton, she knows what it's like to hit bottom -- and hopes he can turn it around too.

"We all have our own stories," Tanya said. "Like, I have my own story and he has his own and we end up where we're supposed to be. I truly believe that from the bottom of my heart."

Middleton is behind bars, facing 25 years if convicted. His mother told us by phone he was diagnosed with cancer six months ago and she thinks he just gave up. She's trying to get him into a program for heroin treatment. There are groups out there like Heroin Anonymous if you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction.