Police name festival-goer who died at Burning Man as mass exodus begins
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The man who died at Burning Man festival this year amid horrific weather conditions has been named.
Police launched an investigation into the death of a person at the festival earlier this week as tens of thousands of people remained trapped.
Heavy rains left the festival site smothered in mud, leaving hundreds of trucks, RVs and other vehicles stuck and thousands of people stuck near Black Rock City, Nevada, where the festival was taking place.
Heavy rain ruined the only roads in and out of the event and the entrance was closed due to flooding. Anyone who attempted to get through has been warned they will be turned away.
People were even warned to conserve food and water as authorities worked to find a way out.
A Pershing County Sheriff has now revealed that the man found unresponsive at the festival site was 32-year-old Leon Reece.
Police did not disclose where Mr Reece was from but confirmed that his family have been notified of his passing. The cause of death is pending an autopsy by the Washoe County Medical Examiner; however Mr Reece’s death did not appear to be weather related, Pershing County Sheriff Sgt Nathan Carmichael told the Reno Gazette Journal.
Emergency services were called at 6:24 p.m. on Friday, September 1 about a man who was unresponsive at the festival site and the dispatcher was told that medical personnel at the site were administering CPR, according to Sheriff Jerry Allen.
The extreme weather conditions and rain that night made it difficult for deputies to reach Mr Reece and begin their investigation, the Sheriff said. Tragically, by the time officers arrived, a doctor at Burning Man had declared Mr Reece dead.
“Pershing County dispatch received a call regarding a male subject who was on the ground and unresponsive at the Burning Man Festival and medical personnel were administering CPR to the male,” Allen said.
“Due to the unusual rain event happening on the Playa, access to the area and investigative efforts were delayed. "Upon the arrival of Pershing County Sheriff’s Office Deputies, the doctor at the Festival had already pronounced the male subject, later identified as Leon Reece, a 32 year old male, deceased.”
The festival came to an end on Monday, September 4. Festival organisers reopened the road leading out of the festival site on Monday, allowing thousands to return home.