Plea for vigilance after latest huffing tragedy

A man who performed CPR on a teen before she was pronounced dead after huffing butane says if teens gave any thought about what this did to their parents, "they just wouldn't do it".

Christchurch man Rene Heyde was the first on the scene when 17-year-old Poihaere Eru was found lying on the side of a Christchurch road. She had been huffing butane along with two friends, aged 14 and 16.

Heyde, described the scene as "surreal".

"I was just driving home from work about 4.30pm and I saw a girl lying down and there was another girl leaning over her. I thought it may have been a fight or scuffle first off, and I asked the other girl what happened and she wouldn't tell me.

"Another lady stopped and helped. We just got her into the recovery position while I called the ambulance, but then I was performing CPR while we waited for them. I was performing CPR for about 20 minutes while the ambulance got there and sorted themselves.

He said by that stage, the girl's mother had arrived.

"It was just heartbreaking. She was just there talking to her baby - willing her to live."

"I was sort of detached at the time and it was surreal. It wasn't until afterwards that I started to realise what had happened.

"I think it had really just shut down her brain."

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