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Mother of Utah teen speaks out after filing lawsuit claiming wrongful death of daughter

Mother of Utah teen speaks out after launching lawsuit claiming wrongful death (Photo: Doner family)
Mother of Utah teen speaks out after launching lawsuit claiming wrongful death (Photo: Doner family)
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The mother of a woman who died two years ago spoke with 2News Investigates after launching a lawsuit alleging healthcare workers gave her daughter 16 times the maximum dosage of Ketamine normally allowed.

19-year-old Gwen Doner died April 19, 2021 in a head-on wrong way car collision.

Police say the driver who caused the crash was suicidal at the time. He was sentenced to 20 to 30 years in prison.

Doner’s parents said that Intermountain Healthcare, the city of Murray, and others failed to give Doner the life-saving measures needed and instead caused her death.

MORE: Utah family remembers teen killed by wrong-way driver who said he 'did it on purpose'

“I believe it’s a systematic failure,” said Heather Myers, Doner’s mother, “there was a very unfortunate series of mistakes that they were not prepared to handle.”

The lawsuit claims Doner was given 500 milligrams of Ketamine by a paramedic. The normal dose is 30 milligrams.

The lawsuit alleges the dose caused Doner to become unable to breathe, and for eight to ten minutes she was without oxygen while paramedics tried to revive her.

“Her death is consistent with an anoxic brain injury,” said Myers.

2News tried reaching out to Unified Fire Authority, the organization responsible for responding to the crash, to ask the following questions:

  1. How does a paramedic accidentally give a dose 16 times the normal amount?
  2. How did Doner go without oxygen for a substantial period of time?
  3. What went wrong?

United Fire Authority denied to comment pending litigation.

Upon arriving at the hospital, Myers said that doctors told them Doner had multiple broken bones and needed surgery but should make a full recovery.

ALSO: Driver fleeing police injures 3 people in wrong-way crash in freeway interchange

“It was a total of for and a half days we were in the hospital and not once was an overdose mentioned,” said Myers, “the time she went without oxygen or that her death was consistent with an anoxic brain injury.”

We also reached out to Intermountain Healthcare System to ask the following questions:

  1. Why didn’t you inform the family that Doner had been given a lethal overdose?
  2. Why did you say that Doner was going to wake up after surgery when she was dying from an overdose?

In a written statement, a spokesperson for the organization said:

“At this time, due to pending litigation and federal laws that protect sensitive patient health information (HIPAA), we’re unable to respond to specific questions. We can say, however, that we’re always committed to providing the safest and highest quality of care possible for all of our patients.”

For Myers, however, that’s what the lawsuit is about— assuring that all patients can trust that they are in good hands.

MORE: Wrong-way driver pleads guilty to murder for killing Utah woman in head-on crash

“It’s about improving those safety training procedures [and] outcomes to ensure the first responders are prepared to do their jobs and the general public is safe,” she said.

The city of Murray has been named in the lawsuit due to the involvement police had in the crash that night.

Myers said police were chasing the wrong-way driver before he hit Doner's car.

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Murray forwarded 2News to their attorney, who did not respond to a request for comment.

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