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Sheriff: Deputy passes out after being exposed to substance during traffic stop

Both the deputy who fell unconscious and another who rushed in to help were given NARCAN, a drug used to reverse known or suspected opioid overdoses.

RICHLAND COUNTY, S.C. — Two deputies are receiving medical care after being exposed to an unknown substance during a traffic stop on Saturday night.

According to a statement released by the Richland County Sheriff's Department, the two deputies, Corporal Deon Hardy and his partner, Reserve Deputy Joshua Ross, were involved in a traffic stop just after 10 p.m.

During the process, however, the sheriff's department said they were exposed to a substance that ultimately left Cpl. Hardy unconscious. Reserve Deputy Ross was credited with administering first aid and NARCAN, which is commonly used to treat known or suspected opioid overdoses.

The sheriff's office said that Hardy was revived and Ross ultimately received NARCAN as well. Both were taken to an area hospital for treatment.

The sheriff said that similar incidents are "the reality of what our deputies encounter every day."

"If Reserve Deputy Ross did not have NARCAN to quickly give Cpl. Hardy, he could have suffered serious health risks," he said, adding a request that the community prays for both deputies.

It's unclear at this time what charges will be filed and authorities didn't specify what, specifically, they believe the deputies were exposed to. However, in Saturday night's statement, the department described the incident as "narcotic exposure," adding that investigators were still interviewing those involved in the stop in order to uncover more information.

The statement didn't say what the traffic stop was for or how the deputies came into contact with the substance.

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