Man from Sidney dies at Shambhala festival in Salmo

Mitchell Joseph Fleischacker, 23, thought to have died from drug overdose

Mitchell Joseph Fleischacker

Mitchell Joseph Fleischacker

A young Sidney man died from a suspected drug overdose at a music festival in Salmo, B.C. this past weekend.

Mitchell Joseph Fleischacker, 23, was pronounced dead at the Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital in Trail on the morning of Sunday, Aug. 12. He had been transported from Salmo where he was attending the Shambhala Electronic Music Festival at the Salmo River Ranch.

Organizers of the annual music festival reported that Fleischacker collapsed in the food court at approximately 5:20 a.m. First aid services were quickly notified and found Fleischacker unconscious and non-responsive, but breathing. He was quickly transported to the medical centre on site and was later transported to Boundary Regional Hospital by B.C. Ambulance Service.

Unfortunately, upon arrival to the hospital, attempts to stabilize Fleischacker failed and he suffered fatal cardiac arrest.

“We would like to extend our gratitude to the medical staff and B.C. Ambulance for their quick response and efforts to save his life. We would also like to thank the RCMP for their high level of professionalism and sensitivity in helping us deal with this tragic incident. At this time our hearts and minds are with the family and friends of the deceased,” said one of the event organizers, Corrine Zawaduk, in a written statement.

Currently, the Kootenay Boundary Regional Detachment general investigation section are looking into the case. It is expected the case will be handed over to the B.C. Coroners Service and that an autopsy will take place as part of the investigation.

“We’re leaving [the case] with the RCMP right now. They want to do a little more work on it before they hand it over to us,” said B.C. Coroners communication officer Barb McLintock.

Shambhala Electronic Music Festival has been held at the Salmo River Ranch for the past 15 years. This is the first death at the event that attracts internationally renowned DJs and producers and more than 10,000 spectators annually.