One dead, several hospitalized from heat, drugs after Paradiso music festival
Tue., June 30, 2015
The Paradiso electronic music festival in Central Washington turned deadly for one young man and sent dozens more to area hospitals for heat- and drug-related illnesses, officials said Monday.
A 22-year-old Port-land man died Sunday morning after attending Paradiso at the Gorge Amphitheater in Central Washington. Beau B. Brooks died at Confluence Health-Central Washington Hospital in Wenatchee.
A cause of death has not been released, but it may be related to drug use or the heat, said Kyle Foreman, spokesman for the Grant County Sheriff’s Office. Saturday’s high in nearby Quincy was 105 degrees.
The sheriff’s office is investigating the death, which comes two years after a 21-year-old Washington State University student died at Paradiso from dehydration caused by the heat and methamphetamine intoxication.
“I want the victim’s family to know how sorry I am for their loss, and to know that I have committed a major crimes detective to investigate and find out what happened,” Grant County Sheriff Tom Jones said.
Many more of the festival’s young fans took ill and were treated at the concert venue or rushed to hospitals in Quincy, Wenatchee and Seattle.
Quincy Valley Medical Center treated 53 patients from Paradiso over the weekend. That’s slightly more than last year, said Alicia Shields, the chief nursing officer.
“The combination of high heat and multi-substance abuse resulted in a significant number of life-threatening conditions,” Shields said.
Eight patients were admitted to the hospital for further evaluation and treatment, and eight were transferred to Confluence Health or Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.
Crowd Rx, the company that the Gorge contracted with to provide on-site medical services, treated more stable patients so Quincy Valley medical staff could focus on critically ill patients, Shields said.
Festival promoter Live Nation Entertainment offered condolences to the family of the Portland man.
“After two days of wonderful celebration, it is absolutely heartbreaking to experience a loss of life,” the company wrote in a statement released Monday evening. “We ask that you keep those closest to him in your thoughts and prayers.”
The company said it is committed to fan safety and asked those attending festivals to help by looking out for each other.
The two-day music festival drew 27,500 fans.
The sheriff’s office said it had 74 calls for service related to Paradiso and arrested 10 people. Crimes included assaults, drug possession, theft, attempting to elude, trespassing, vehicle prowling, and hit and run.
Starting last year, more water stations were added for the two-day concert, and the event promoter began contracting with AMR to have medical personnel and ambulances at the venue.
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