Paradiso concert-goer dies
See related story: Manweller says ‘We saw this coming’
A Portland man died Sunday while being treated for collapse at the weekend Paradiso Festival at the Gorge Amphitheatre.
Beau B. Brooks, 22, was one of 53 concert-goers brought for emergency room care at Quincy Valley Medical Center over the course of the two-day festival. Chelan County Coroner Wayne Harris said Brooks died at 3:56 a.m., after being transferred to Central Washington Hospital in Wenatchee.
An autopsy to determine Brooks’ cause of death was on Monday. Dehydration and drug intoxication are suspected, Harris said. It will take six to eight weeks for toxicology results to be returned from the state lab, he said.
Brooks was among eight Paradiso-related patients who had to be transported to other hospitals for a higher level of trauma care, Quincy Valley Medical Center risk manager Glenda Bishop said.
The electronic dance music showcase took place at the Gorge Amphitheatre amid temperatures that reached 101 on Friday and 107 on Saturday.
“I don’t think we can deny that heat was a factor,” Bishop said of the cases that came in. “We also know that drug use was a major contributing factor.”
Bishop said hospital staff saw patients over the weekend who had used the powder or crystal form of MDMA known as Molly. Side effects of the mood-altering drug can include dehydration and fever.
Thirty-eight of the ER visitors from Paradiso were treated and released, and eight admitted for further care and observation. Seven were eventually released, but one was among the eight patients shifted to Central Washington Hospital or to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.
The treatment numbers at Quincy were higher than the 45 emergency treatments from Paradiso last year, Bishop said, “But the acuity of patients that we saw was far worse. In other words, we were treating much more critically ill individuals.”
“It was definitely more severe than last year,” said Alicia Shields, chief nursing officer. “The patients who we had were more critical.”
Shields said that some concert-goers mentioned a lack of available drinking water at the Gorge.
Paradiso weekend has been a concern for the Quincy hospital since 2013, when it treated 123 emergency room visitors, 72 of them festival attendees.
Temperatures that weekend reached 92 degrees. A Des Moines man attending the 2013 festival, who was initially treated at Quincy, died at Central Washington Hospital from methamphetamine intoxication and dehydration.
About 27,500 people attended Paradiso over the weekend, according to the Grant County Sheriff’s Office. While hospital staff had their work cut out, deputies reported a decline in arrests and incidents from Paradiso compared to previous years.
“Aside from the small amount of people who were responsible for a small percentage of crime or bad behavior, the majority of the concert-goers were polite and just wanted to have a good time,” said sheriff’s spokesman Kyle Foreman.
Deputies had 74 calls for service, comparable to 76 in 2014 and down from 87 in 2013. Ten festival attendees were booked into jail compared to 23 last year, on suspicion of crimes including assault, drug possession, theft, attempting to elude, trespassing, vehicle prowl and hit-and-run.
— By Jefferson Robbins, Wenatchee World