Ecstasy Alone Blamed in Death of EDC Vegas Raver

Ecstasy Alone Blamed in Death of EDC Vegas RaverEXPAND
Marco Torres/L.A. Weekly

A 24-year-old man who died at Electric Daisy Carnival in Las Vegas last month perished as a result of "MDMA intoxication," an official with the Clark County Coroner-Medical Examiner's office told us today.

Following toxicology tests, no other drugs or substances, including alcohol, were reported as being connected to the death of Nicholas Austin Tom of San Francisco.

The official said the death was ruled "accidental." Tom was declared dead on-site at 3:25 a.m. on June 21, authorities said.

The official citation of MDMA alone in this case calls into question the tactics of "harm reduction" advocates who push pill testing as a way of ensuring a safer festival experience. In this tragedy, no "bad batch" or "adulterated" pills were mentioned as a possible cause, and we've found such cases to be rare.

The three-day festival has seen an average of one death a year, mostly related to MDMA, which is also known as ecstasy and molly.

The rave moved to Las Vegas Motor Speedway in 2011 after a 15-year-old girl who had sneaked into its 2010 Los Angeles Coliseum event died of "complications of ischemic encephalopathy due to methylenedioxymethamphetamine [MDMA] intoxication," a coroner's official said at the time.

A political uproar and subsequent allegations of corruption at the public facility hastened EDC's move to Las Vegas, where last month it wrapped up a five-year contract at the Speedway. 

We previously asked a promoter's press representative if the event had secured a new or extended contract but we did not hear back.

Daytime temperatures preceding this year's fest hovered at or above 110 degrees. 

EDC's promoters, Beverly Hills–based Insomniac Events and partner Live Nation, claimed about 135,000 people attended each of three days.

Las Vegas Metro Police said 76 people were arrested, mostly for drug-related felonies, while 1,426 people required or requested medical attention.

Send feedback and tips to the author. Follow Dennis Romero on Twitter at @dennisjromero. Follow L.A. Weekly News on Twitter at @laweeklynews.

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