WSU grad dies at Gorge concert, dozens more hospitalized

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by KING 5 News

NWCN.com

Posted on July 2, 2013 at 5:41 AM

A man  died and dozens of concertgoers were treated at hospitals for drug and alcohol-related issues after attending the Paradiso Festival at the Gorge Amphitheatre over the weekend.

The victim was identified by the Chelan County Coroner's Office as 21-year-old Patrick Witkowski.

Between Thursday and Sunday, 40 to 50 patients who had been at the festival were admitted to Quincy Valley Medical Center for problems related to drugs and alcohol, said medical center spokesperson Michele Wurl. A total of 72 concertgoers were taken to the medical center.

Overwhelmed with the number of patients, the medical center went into "internal disaster" mode and transferred seven patients to Central Washington Hospital, all drug related. One of the patients died. Three were serious but stable condition Monday, said hopsital spokesperson Kathryn Hamilton.

The patients' symptoms reportedly included bizarre behavior and confusion. Several were acting angry and combative. Others were unconscious and had to be put on breathing tubes.

Concertgoers say that the drug called "Molly" was widely consumed at the festival, but other drugs could be involved. Molly, often called "ecstasy," can cause brain damage or heart failure. It is a powder or crystalline form of MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxy-N-methylamphetamine).

Witkowski's family issued a statement, saying "At 6' 7" Patrick was a gentle giant.  He was a giving soul with a large heart.  Patrick's passions included family and friends, being a WSU Pike (Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity) and basketball. Patrick graduated from WSU in May and began his professional career last week."

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