Second death at Tennessee's Bonnaroo festival

Reuters News
Posted: Jun 14, 2011 3:18 AM

By Tim Ghianni

NASHVILLE, Tenn (Reuters) - A second person has died at Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in Manchester, Tennessee, Coffee County Sheriff's Deputy Toby Alonso confirmed on Monday evening.

Alonso, the ranking officer at the command center during the festival cleanup on Monday, said he didn't know much about the latest death.

Coffee County Sheriff Steve Graves was unavailable for comment, but was quoted by local media earlier as confirming the death of a young man and attributing it to hyperthermia, and saying he was awaiting toxicology reports.

The Coffee County Sheriff's dispatcher said a news release would be issued on Tuesday morning.

A statement released by Bonnaroo officials said: "The safety of our patrons is our No. 1 concern, and we are deeply saddened by this."

It was the second death at the 10th annual festival, held on 700 acres of former farmland in Manchester, about 85 miles southeast of Nashville.

The body of Beth Myers, 32, of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, was found by friends late on Thursday night, Graves had said.

"We are unsure if heat exhaustion or any type of heat-related illness played a part in it," said Captain Frank Watkins of the Coffee County Sheriff's Department, after that death first was reported.

Autopsy results have not been released.

Heat -- temperatures stayed in the 90s almost the whole four days of the fest -- was an issue, as about 1,500 of the 80,000 attendees were treated for heat-related illnesses, officials said.

There also were hundreds of drug citations issued.

The festival ended Sunday night with a performance by Widespread Panic.

(Editing by Jerry Norton)