A 24-year-old woman attending the Coachella Music Festival died Thursday of a suspected drug overdose while attending the Coachella Music Festival, according to a statement from festival promoter Goldenvoice.
Kimchi Truong, from Oakland, collapsed at the festival on Saturday, April 12, and was taken to JFK Memorial Hospital. She was later transferred to Desert Regional Medical Center where she died, according to the Riverside County Coroner’s office.
The Coroner’s office has not confirmed Truong’s cause of death and said toxicology tests are underway. Results take four to six weeks.
Drugs and alcohol “are always a concern and something we would look at,” said Sergeant Curt James, of the Coroner’s Office. “When somebody of that age dies suddenly we would be concerned.”
The two-weekend music and arts festival opened last weekend and continues Saturday. Around 75,000 to 90,000 typically attend each day.
Desert Regional Medical Center spokesman Richard Ramhoff said tragic incidents during the festival are rare because of extra staffing.
The promoter meets with local hospitals, emergency responders and the city weeks before the festival to draw up a plan "to make sure that hospital and emergency responders are prepared for the large number of visitors who come for the festivals," he said.
“We always have full staff available during big weekends like Coachella or Stagecoach,” agreed Deborah Johnson, spokeswoman for Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage.
The hospital also operates the La Quinta urgent care center close to the festival site.
“What they mostly see is heat-related problems, dehydration and that type of things," she added. "If there is something more urgent they would go to the emergency room.”
The festival has on-site medical personnel, Johnson said, so many Coachella-goers with medical concerns go there first. Only those with serious issues may be sent on to the urgent care center or the hospital.
The three hospitals closest to the festival site are JFK Memorial Hospital in Indio, Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage and Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs.
The county coroner’s office does not track how many deaths in recent years have been linked to the marathon music fest.
According to Goldenvoice, Truong was seen by on-site medical staff before going to the hospital.
“We are saddened to learn the individual has died," Goldenvoice said in a written statement. "We believe this to be an unfortunate but isolated incident. Our thoughts and condolences are with the family and friends.”