A drug overdose caused the death of a 19-year-old Cal State Channel Islands student who attended a rave at the Los Angeles County fairgrounds in Pomona, the county coroner confirmed.
Katie Dix of Camarillo died of multiple drug intoxication after being found unresponsive and rushed to a hospital, the coroner said. Dix graduated from Coronado High School in San Diego County in 2014.
Another woman, an 18-year-old UCLA student, Tracy Nguyen of West Covina, also died after attending the same rave — Hard Summer, sponsored by Beverly Hills-based Live Nation Entertainment. Nguyen's death was caused by an Ecstasy overdose, the coroner said in February.
Dix’s death was the 24th confirmed drug-related death nationwide since 2006 among people who went to raves organized by L.A.-area companies. Twelve died in Southern California — four in San Bernardino County and eight in Los Angeles County — and five in the Las Vegas area.
Following the deaths of the two young women, the operator of the fairgrounds, the nonprofit L.A. County Fair Assn., said it has no plans to host any raves at the site in 2016.
Drug overdoses have been a major problem at electronic dance music festivals, where the use of Ecstasy and similar substances is closely tied to the rave experience.
At a separate rave held last weekend at the San Manuel Amphitheater in San Bernardino County, 20 people were taken to area hospitals and nearly 250 were arrested, mostly for trespassing, public intoxication and possession of Ecstasy for sale.
Of those taken to hospitals, one was transported by a sheriff’s helicopter. By Monday, all had been treated and released.
The Beyond Wonderland rave, held at a venue owned by San Bernardino County, was sponsored by Insomniac Events, a subsidiary of Live Nation Entertainment.
A 22-year-old UC Irvine student, John Hoang Dinh Vo, died of an Ecstasy overdose after attending last year's Beyond Wonderland, according to the San Bernardino County coroner.
Ecstasy trigger a sharp increase in body temperature to as high as 109 degrees — high enough to cause fatal organ failure. Ravegoers are often told to drink plenty of water, but some drink too much, which can cause sodium levels to crash and trigger a seizure that can hamper breathing. Some people fall into fatal comas. The drug can also cause the breakdown of muscle tissue into a chemical that damages the kidneys, which can be deadly.
Doctors have reported overdosing ravegoers arriving at emergency rooms with convulsions and heart attacks, leaving some who survived with brain damage as well as impaired speech and walking ability.