Officials say a viral letter on social media about a construction worker dying from a fentanyl-laced overdose after accepting water from a stranger in Woodstock is “100% false.”
The fake letter — an email from an “Angela Coleman” — began circulating on social media on Wednesday.
“This morning, one of our employees was notified by a family member who has a spouse in the trades about a very disturbing situation that occurred just yesterday in our immediate service area and we feel it is imperative we notify everyone immediately. With that said, yesterday there was a local construction crew working in Woodstock, IL installing underground utilities on a public roadway,” the letter said.
“The crew had a flagger at each end of the work area. A car pulled up and offered both of the flaggers water. With it being hot outside, the flaggers generously accepted the water from the person in the car. Sadly, one of the flaggers passed away this morning and the 2nd one is in the hospital,” the letter said.
“It has not been confirmed for sure, but initial reports are saying the water they were given was most likely laced with Fentanyl. This is an extremely scary and disturbing situation. After hearing of this, we ask everyone to be cautious of this scenario as many of you are working outside and/or around the public on a daily basis. Thank you all,” the letter added.
McHenry County Coroner Dr. Michael Rein told Lake and McHenry County Scanner that his office had not been aware of any death involving a construction worker who overdosed from laced drinking water in Woodstock or anywhere else in McHenry County.
“There is nothing to find that occurred,” Rein said. “There is no truth to this story whatsoever.”
The coroner said he spoke to police and fire departments along with local hospitals, all of which were not aware of the incident.
Rein called the viral letter “100% false” and residents are urged not to share it.
The company NPL Construction, based in Arizona, whose workers were purported to have been involved, said in a statement that they were aware of the false reports.
“This information is entirely false. No NPL employees have been involved in any incident of this nature anywhere throughout the country,” NPL Construction said in the statement.
“We are unsure where this story originated but can confirm no NPL employees have been harmed in this way,” the company added.