Details surrounding a recent death at the La Jolla Indian Reservation are limited.
An estimated 3000 people camped at the reservation over the October 15-18 weekend for YOUtopia, “San Diego's Regional Burning Man Event.”
A member on the board of the San Diego Collaborative Arts Project (SDCAP), which is the nonprofit arts organization that oversees the event, stated: “The entire YOUtopia team and the board of the San Diego Collaborative Arts Project (SDCAP) was saddened by the event on Friday night where we lost a member of our community. Our hearts go out to the man’s family and friends, as well as to the first responders and camp members affected.
“At this time, we are choosing to respect the privacy of the family and friends and will not be commenting on the details of the event. If you are experiencing grief, we ask you to please reach out to those around you and let them know if you need help in any way. We thank everyone for continuing to show respect to this man’s memory and the experience of those affected by this.”
According to Sgt. Jeff Lauhon from the San Diego Sheriff’s Department in Pauma Valley, “On October 17 at 1:24 AM deputies were dispatched to La Jolla Campground where the Youtopia Burning Man event was being held and they were dispatched to a person on the dance area when they arrived.”
Officers located a 43-year-old white male unresponsive on the dance floor.
“Prior to the deputies' arrival some CPR had been performed by bystanders that were qualified to do so, and apparently he was pronounced dead shortly thereafter. Witnesses said he was attending the event, was dancing and [then] fell and died on the floor,” Sgt. Lauhon informed.
The 12th annual San Diego–hosted post–Burning Man event had a theme titled "Robots & Dinosaurs YOUNITE!." Organizers, an all-volunteer team, say it was the best YOUtopia yet.
“The community is really maturing and creating amazing contributions to the event,” said Cable King (a pseudonym). “We gave nearly $60,000 in art grants to the community that was easily matched by individual artists contributions.”
A lady in the front office of the medical examiner’s office said toxicology reports on the victim are pending.
Burning Man organizers have garnered a reputation for keeping deaths at Burning Man–associated events under wraps. Deaths range from the banal, such as car accidents and medical conditions, to the grotesque, such as hanging.
One of Burning Man’s many mottos is “Keep Burning Man potentially fatal.”