The mother of deceased teen actor Logan Williams says the British Columbian children’s ministry failed her son.
Williams died of a fentanyl overdose in April 2020 while in the care of B.C.’s Ministry of Children and Family Development, just days before his 17th birthday.
“He told me, ‘I’m going to get clean, mom, and I love you and, you’ll see, I’m going to help so many people,'” mother Marlyse Williams said.
Williams was best known for playing the young version of the titular DC superhero Barry Allen in The CW’s The Flash, which films often in Burnaby. He also had minor roles in series like Supernatural and When Calls the Heart.
The 16-year-old battled a traumatic past that led him down the dark path of drug addiction.
The coroner’s report said that as Williams got older, he struggled with mental health and “had a history of consuming illicit substances.”
In 2019, he was placed in the children’s ministry’s care. The coroner’s report said Williams was provided support services, including residential treatment, but he “often declined to participate.”
On Feb. 26, 2020, he suffered a drug overdose, resulting in a serious brain injury.
Williams said he wanted treatment and was discharged from the hospital on March 11 to a specialized facility, according to the coroner’s report.
The teen ultimately ended up in a group home where he died on April 2, 2020.
“I begged them to call the ambulance,” Marlyse said. “Had they done the checks, had they originally just called the ambulance like they were supposed to, it could have saved my son’s life.”
The coroner’s report states staff conducted hourly checks on Williams, but there’s no record of this in freedom-of-information documents that had multiple pages that were either missing or blacked out.
Marlyse made her case to the chief coroner for a public inquest, but was denied.
“I’m livid,” she said. “I mean, how can the general public not be interested in youth dying of fentanyl poisoning?”
The coroners service told Global News that an inquest is not superior to a coroner’s investigation, which was done in this case and was being reviewed by B.C.’s Representative for Children and Youth.
The ministry declined to comment, citing legal reasons.
Marlyse said she is fighting for independent oversight of the ministry in an effort to bring about change, as B.C.’s increasingly toxic illicit drug supply continues to claim young lives.
“Logan was a blessing in my life, and he was a fighter and even in his death, he’s fighting.”
– With files from Rumina Daya and Amy Judd
© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.