Woodstock '99 Death Toll Rises To Three
The death toll from Woodstock '99 climbed to three over the weekend, when a second concert-goer died from heat-related illness and a 28-year-old woman returning from the massive rock event was struck and killed on the highway.
According to Senior Investigator Jim Carter of the Sydney office of the New York State Police, Tara K. Weaver of Troy, N.Y., was hit by a car while walking along the road after experiencing car trouble near South New Berlin, N.Y., about 55 miles from the concert site.
"She was struck, and while the driver was returning to see what had been hit, she was struck again by another vehicle," Carter said, reading from a police report of the incident. Weaver was pronounced dead on the scene, and neither driver was charged in the incident.
A 24-year-old Connecticut man who attended the concert — which ended in flames when attendees set nearly a dozen fires, destroyed property and looted on-site merchants late Sunday — died Monday from a heat-related illness at University Hospital in Syracuse, N.Y., according to Mary Jumbelic, chief medical examiner of the Onondaga County medical examiner's office.
David G. Derosia of Waterbury, Conn., was transported to the hospital directly from Woodstock on Sunday and died the following day of hyperthermia, a condition involving overheating of the body. Jumbelic said the cause of death was accidental, and that drugs and alcohol were not suspected, though test results are pending.
It was the second concert-related death to be reported. A 44-year-old Hyannis, Mass., man with a pre-existing heart condition died Friday of cardiac arrest in a Woodstock campground site.
So far, 123 concert-goers were hospitalized at Rome Memorial Hospital between Thursday and Monday, according to spokesperson Cassie Evans Winter. Of those treated, eight remain in the hospital, Winter said, although she said she could not detail the injuries.
Weaver's death was one of two traffic-related mishaps tied to the concert. At 7 a.m. Sunday, a van carrying seven Woodstock attendees rolled over several times on the New York State Thruway 100 miles southeast of Rome, ejecting all seven passengers, two of whom remain in critical condition, according to Sgt. Donald Meier of the New York State Police Department.
Jeffrey Krajewski, 17, of Raritan, N.J., and Jen Thall, 18, of Neshanic, N.J., were thrown from the van during the crash and taken to Albany Medical Center for treatment of severe head trauma. The pair remained in critical condition as of Wednesday afternoon (July 28), according to hospital spokesperson Lori Skoblicki.
"I don't think the doctors know yet what will happen," Skoblicki said. "They're not conscious and they're breathing with respirators."
The driver of the van, 19-year-old Douglas Vail, of Bridgewater, N.J., who was treated in Westchester Medical Center for chest trauma and head lacerations, was arrested for allegedly driving while ability-impaired by drugs (DWAI), reckless driving and marijuana possession, Meier said.
"The probable cause was that the driver fell asleep," Meier said.
Among them were Anthony Bell, 16, and Kenneth Miller, 17, both of Bridgewater, N.J. Bell was treated for a broken arm and lacerations at Benedictine Hospital in Kingston, N.Y. Miller, who suffered head lacerations, received treatment at St. Francis Hospital in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. Both were discharged Wednesday morning.
Also injured in the accident were Bryan Mutek, 18, of Raritan, N.J., and Kevin Malasky, 18, of Bridgewater, N.J., who were taken to Kingston City Hospital and treated for head lacerations and bruises and released.
The charges against Vail could be upgraded from misdemeanors if any passengers die of their injuries, Meier said.
"They probably hadn't gotten much sleep up there, and this could have been the effect of not sleeping much for four or five days," Meier said, calling the accident an anomaly among concert-related crashes.