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San Francisco man, 24, dies at Electric Daisy Carnival in Las Vegas

A 24-year-old man from San Francisco died while attending the Electric Daisy Carnival rave in Las Vegas, the coroner said Wednesday.

Nicholas Austin Tom was declared dead at 3:25 a.m. Sunday at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, where the rave was being held, a Clark County coroner’s official said. The cause of death is pending; toxicology tests usually takes several weeks.

“We extend our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Nicholas Tom who passed away over the weekend,” the company that runs the Electric Daisy Carnival, Los Angeles-based Insomniac Inc., said in a statement. “We ask all of our fans to take care of themselves and look out for one another at all events.”

There have been several deaths in recent years among attendees of the Electric Daisy Carnival in Las Vegas. All have been drug-related.

Last year, an overdose of Ecstasy contributed to the death of Montgomery Tsang, 24, of San Leandro, who was found collapsed at a Speedway parking lot outside of the rave, the coroner said.

Anthony Anaya, 25, of Everett, Wash., who went to the rave, was found unconscious in his hotel room and died at Spring Valley Hospital of alcohol, Ecstasy and cocaine intoxication, according to the coroner.

In 2012, Olivier Hennessy, 31, of Ponce Inlet, Fla., died after being hit by a pickup after staggering into traffic outside the rave, and had a blood-alcohol level of 0.19% and marijuana and hydrocodone in his system, the Nevada Highway Patrol said.

That same year, Emily McCaughan, 22, of Scottsdale, Ariz., suffered paranoid delusions while at Electric Daisy Carnival, returned alone to her hotel room and apparently squeezed through a window and fell more than 20 stories to her death, according to news reports. Ecstasy, methamphetamine and gamma-hydroxybutryic acid were in her system, the coroner said.

Ecstasy can cause death by pushing up body temperatures to fatal levels, as high as 108 degrees, and can cause organ failure. The drug enhances the effect of beat-heavy music and pulsing lights of raves. 

The Electric Daisy Carnival moved from Los Angeles to Las Vegas a year after a 15-year-old girl fatally overdosed on Ecstasy at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in 2010, and after a Los Angeles Times report that a government stadium employee was being paid by Insomniac.

That employee, Todd DeStefano, and the CEO of Insomniac Inc., Pasquale Rotella, have since been charged by the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office in an alleged bribery and conspiracy scheme.

DeStefano is accused of taking at least $1.9 million from Rotella and another rave promoter, Reza Gerami of Go Ventures Inc., in exchange for helping them put on raves and keeping costs down. The three have pleaded not guilty.

In court documents, prosecutors described DeStefano as a “tireless advocate” for keeping raves at the stadium complex even after the girl's death.

The trial, which had been scheduled for this summer, has been postponed until March.

A Los Angeles Times investigation in 2013 said that since 2006, at least 14 people who attended concerts produced by Rotella and Gerami have died from overdoses or in other drug-related incidents.

Follow me on Twitter for more California breaking news: @ronlin

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