A 26-year-old man was electrocuted Friday night while walking barefoot at a show by the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Snoop Dogg in Charlotte, North Carolina.
UNC Charlotte college student Ashley Faris of Waxhaw, North Carolina, died on the scene after he stepped onto a wet, lighted concrete stairway with metal edging at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater on Friday night, according to Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department spokesperson Keith Bridges. The department's investigation is so far classifying the incident as a "public accident."
A patron who attempted to help Faris, 23-year-old Alexander Robards, was treated for electric shock at University Hospital and was released on Saturday. The incidents occurred just after the opening set by Snoop Dogg around 9:30 p.m., prior to the Chili Peppers taking the stage. The show was not stopped and local media reports said that many attendees were not aware of the fatal accident.
Local media also reported that Faris was a newlywed who was close to finishing school. A memorial service was planned for Monday morning (June 9).
Venue owner Clear Channel Communications would not comment on the death, citing an ongoing investigation, but released a statement that read: "Unfortunately, Friday evening there was an incident at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater-Charlotte resulting in a death and an injury. We are working with local authorities and investigators to determine how the incident took place. The Verizon Wireless Amphitheater extends heartfelt sympathy to the family and friends of the individuals involved in this unfortunate incident."
The North Carolina Department of Labor is investigating whether poor wiring of the venue's lights could have contributed to Faris' death, according to spokesperson Dolores Quesenberry. "They will be looking to see if there was any faulty electrical wiring and will check to see if anyone knew about it and didn't do anything," said Quesenberry, who added that the investigation could take four to six weeks.