By Joe Beck
The death of a Woodstock man was one of two heroin overdoses within three days in Frederick County this week, the leader of the Northwest Virginia Regional Drug Task Force reported Friday.
Virginia State Police Special Agent Jay Perry said John Bilbow Jr., 24, was found dead of an overdose in a Stephens City residence on Tuesday afternoon.
Perry said Bilbow's death followed another death attributed to heroin two days earlier. Perry identified the victim as Michael Zamorski, 21 of Herndon.
Perry said Zamorski died at the Flying J Travel Plaza in Clear Brook early Sunday morning.
"He actually started feeling ill driving a vehicle down Interstate 81 and a passenger took over," Perry said of Zamorski. "They stopped at the Flying J to get him some medical attention, and he overdosed and passed away."
The number of people who have died in 2014 as a result of opiate drug overdoses has risen to 14 in Frederick, Warren, Shenandoah, Page, and Shenandoah counties and Winchester, Perry said.
"Last year, we had 21 total, and we're not even halfway through this year," Perry said of opiate drug deaths. "I would say it's on an upward trend."
Perry said emergency responders and medical institutions are still searching for ways to curb the heroin epidemic, despite the increased attention they have given it in the last year.
"Everybody is aware of it, and everybody is doing as much as they can, but I guess you can't prevent somebody from doing it to themselves," Perry said.
Contact staff writer Joe Beck at 540-465-5137 ext. 142, or firstname.lastname@example.org