A nineteen-year-old festival attendee who died from a drug overdose in January may have ingested multiple MDMA pills at once because she was scared of being caught by police, an inquest has heard.
The Guardian reports Alex Ross-King, who died after falling ill at FOMO Festival in Parramatta, is one of six people whose drug-related deaths are being investigated by the NSW coroner.
Speaking today before the coroner’s court in Sydney, Peggy Dwyer, who is serving as counsel assisting the inquest, said Ross-King ingested the majority of an MDMA pill before arriving at the festival grounds – but took two more shortly after, telling mates it was “apparently to avoid the risk of detection by police of carrying them into the festival”.
News.com.au reports Dwyer told the court Ross-King fell ill and was directed to medical staff at the festival by friends, but acted in an unusually combative manner.
She was transported to Westmead Hospital and lost consciousness with a body temperature of 42 degrees. She went into cardiac arrest shortly after and could not be revived.
Ross-King’s tragic death is one of six being assessed by the coroner in an attempt to prevent similar incidents. The inquest will consider whether harm-reduction measures like pill-testing at festivals may kerb similar incidents, and will investigate if temperatures at many warm-weather events are a contributing factor.
The inquest comes two months after a second pill-testing trial at Canberra’s Groovin The Moo – which allowed attendees to screen their pills for harmful substances and kept police from swooping on punters – was hailed as a success.
The hearing is slated to run for a fortnight.
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Image: Nine News