THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – A 34-year-old California man died of an apparent heat-related illness after attending the first night of an electronic music festival.
Michael Morse, 34, made the trip to Las Vegas to attend the Electric Daisy Carnival at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway with two of his friends, and the family now blames festival organizers for his death, according to a report.
“It was the worst call of my life because … this was supposed to be his last rave that he was going to,” Morse’s wife, Jennifer Marshall, told Las Vegas television station KSNV.
Morse attended the first night of EDC on Friday and was waiting at an Uber line shortly about 3:25 a.m. Saturday when he started convulsing and having seizures, Marshall said.
“He never made it to the hospital,” she told KSNV.
Morse was taken to a medical tent. He died at the speedway about four hours later, the station reported, citing the Clark County coroner’s office.
“At his death, his temperature was at 109.6,” Marshall said.
Morse had complained earlier of the heat and had issues getting water to drink, according to Marshall. The high temperature was expected to hit 108 degrees that day.
“The water stations they did have had lines of over an hour for people to try to get water,” she said.
In addition, Marshall said, there were issues getting an ambulance into the speedway because of the high volume of traffic.
She told the station she holds festival organizers accountable for her husband’s death.
“This is just a senseless tragedy,” Marshall said. “It’s a senseless tragedy that could have been prevented.”
The coroner’s office has not determined a cause of death yet, and it could take up to two months for the toxicology reports to be released, the station reported.
The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department did not mention Morse’s death in its news releases on the festival. A police spokesperson explained the daily briefings were for incidents that occurred during the festival’s operation period, which were between 7 p.m. to approximately 5:30 a.m.
“The statistics sent to the media were for the operation periods of the event and known incidents. The death is not investigated as a crime and is being handled by the Clark County Coroner’s Office,” Las Vegas police officer Larry Hadfield wrote in an emailed statement to KSVN.
The coroner’s office listed his time of death about 7:40 a.m., but family members say he died during festival hours.
Insomniac, the production team behind the festival, released the following statement to KSVN:
The unexpected passing of a loved one is tragic, and while the exact cause of this tragedy is still unknown, we do know that family and friends are grieving. It is with great sadness that we send our thoughts and condolences to the loved ones of the man who passed away after the festival had ended.
Our health and safety plan is created over several months with local agencies. Our roaming medical personnel are available twenty-four hours a day, free of charge, with the best emergency room doctors, nurses, EMTs and paramedics in the country. A full staff of security and police are also available to all attendees. We encourage everyone to approach our caring staff and ask for help if needed.