Daughter thought drug in suspected fentanyl overdose in South Lake Tahoe was cocaine, family says

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By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

“I’m angry at what happened to them. I’m angry at the people who sold them those drugs,” Casey Pereira said at a community vigil for her sister Tuesday.

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — On Super Bowl Sunday, a group of friends in South Lake Tahoe had a few drinks and used what they thought was cocaine.

Hours later on Monday morning, four of them were pronounced dead from a suspected fentanyl overdose.

Among the victims was 33-year-old Keely Pereira, whose “generosity was unmatched and style was effortlessly cool,” according to her younger sister Casey Pereira.

“I’m angry at what happened to them. I’m angry at the people who sold them those drugs,” Casey told ABC10 at a community vigil for her sister Tuesday.

Keely Pereira was visiting her hometown from Mexico, where she was working as a boat captain.

“When she was on the boat, it was like the boat was built around her,” her father, Donnie Pereira, said.

How the group of friends came into possession of the tainted drug is under investigation.

The CDC said drug dealers often cut cocaine and other drugs with powdered fentanyl to make them cheaper and more powerful. But it also makes them more dangerous.

Now, Keely’s family is spreading the word about the dangers of fentanyl.

They’re also passing out a life-saving medication, Naloxone, also known referred to as Narcan.

“To raise awareness, that’s the key,” Gabrielle Weetman, Keely’s mother, said.

Through all of the pain, Casey said she still looked up to her big sister.

“I’m really proud of her,” Casey said. “Because in a strange way, she’s initiated this change for a lot of people.”

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About the Author
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y. His practice is comprised primarily of cases involving automobile and motorcycle accidents, but he also represents people in premises liability lawsuits, including suits alleging dangerous conditions of public property, third-party criminal conduct, and intentional torts. He also has expertise in cases involving product defects, dog bites, elder abuse, and sexual assault. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Yosi by clicking here.