JACKSONVILLE, Ore. -- One man has died, with two more people in the hospital after overdosing on an unknown substance at the Britt Music and Arts Festival Thursday evening, according to Sgt. Greg Nichols with the Jacksonville Police Department.
Two separate calls were made for medical assistance, one at 6:45 p.m. and the second at 8:00 p.m. One woman and two men were taken to the Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center.
Britt paramedics and security worked with emergency responders to stabilize them before being transported to RRMC. This occurred during Rebelution's performance, a California reggae band, along with Stephen Marley, Common Kings, Zion I, and DJ Mackle.
According to Jacksonville Police, it appears that all three took the same substance. According to a Britt press release the attendees, "informed paramedics that they had ingested the drug prior to their arrival at the concert."
A festival-goer, who asked to go by C. Miller, said she witnessed the incident. She was shocked by the event, and said she tried to step in to help.
"I walked in the gate at approximately. 6:30 p.m. and immediately saw a man in his early thirties, standing awkwardly, violently convulsing with his whole body," she wrote in a statement to News 10. "He appeared very frightened. Only a couple security staff was talking to them. I grabbed an RN nearby and we attempted to help, but they were insistent that they had it under control and they stated they had already called 'medics.'"
"I assumed they were referring to Britt staff medics, and whilst myself and multiple witnesses noticed the seriousness of the situation, we did not expect him to pass away," she said.
Miller said the man was seizing immensely but was "somewhat" still standing. It's a scene she will never forget, and her deepest sympathies are with the man's family.
"As an avid reggae festival attendee, I see many types of medical incidents of this variety and was personally disappointed in the way the venue was prepared," said Miller. "This is a tragic accident that could have been avoided and I hope staff will at least take notes for the future."
The Jackson County Sheriff's Office is working in conjunction with the Jacksonville Police Department and Medford Area Drug and Gang Enforcement.
Calls have been made to JCSO and MADGE were not immediately returned.