Waukee man allegedly crashes car while huffing canned air

A Waukee man was arrested on a Dallas County warrant Friday in connection with an August incident in which he allegedly injured another person when he crashed his car while huffing compressed air.

Alex Michael Schuring, 35, of 1985 S.E. Crabapple Court, Waukee, was charged with third-offense OWI, serious injury by vehicle-OWI and serious injury by vehicle-reckless driving.

The incident began about 9:30 a.m. Aug. 30, when a vehicle Schuring was driving was “observed traveling northbound all over the roadway on Jordan Creek Parkway from Vista Drive to University Avenue” in West Des Moines, according to court records.

Schuring turned westward on University Avenue, where his vehicle allegedly struck “curbs, struck a mailbox, drove on the sidewalk and grass easement,” according to court records.

At length Schuring “lost control of the above vehicle and rolled into oncoming traffic, resulting in a crash with serious injuries to one occupant in a vehicle” on University Avenue near N. 88th Street.

Schuring “did not smell of an alcoholic beverage” at the time of his arrest, but he “exhibited slow, thick and slurred speech,” according to court records. Officers allegedly found in his vehicle “aerosol dusters with the tips removed from the cans,” according to court records.

Lab results later “came back positive with the inhalant (volatile organic) of canned air (difluoroethane),” according to court records.

According to Wikipedia, “Difluoroethane is an intoxicant and precipitates fatal cardiac arrhythmia. Several reports of fatal car crashes have been linked to drivers huffing difluoroethane.”

Schuring is held on a $15,000 cash or surety bond in Dallas County Jail.

Schuring was convicted of third-offense OWI in May 2021 in Dallas County District Court. He has four prior OWI charges in the last 12 years and five total in his criminal history, according to court records.

*A criminal charge is merely an accusation, and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.