British Columbia

4 sent to hospital after man drives into crowd at Princeton music festival

Princeton RCMP say charges of robbery and assault with a weapon are being considered against a man in his 20s after he allegedly drove an off-road vehicle into a crowd at the Curiosity Musical Festival over the Canada Day long weekend.

Suspect allegedly stole medical cart and drove into the stage at the Curiosity Musical Festival

Jessica Laplante and her boyfriend, Dustin Stoelwinder, were among those injured at the electronic music festival. (Jessica Laplante)

Princeton RCMP say charges of robbery and assault with a weapon are being considered against a man in his 20s after he allegedly drove an off-road vehicle into a crowd at the Curiosity Musical Festival over the Canada Day long weekend. 

The incident happened around 2 a.m. on Sunday at the Snug Lake Amphitheatre along Pike Mountain Forest Service Road in Princeton, B.C.

Police say seven people were injured, four of whom were taken to hospital with serious but non-life threatening injuries after the vehicle, a medical cart, was driven at high speed into the stage.

"The man who was previously being provided medical care by some first aid staff, he began assaulting them and stole their side-by-side, driving it up into the main stage and into four people," said Penticton RCMP Const. James Grandy.

Grandy says the man was apprehended by security before being arrested by police.

Police say the suspect drove a stolen medical cart into the main stage injuring four people. (Curiosity Music Festival/Facebook)

Panicked crowd 

Jessica Laplante and her boyfriend, Dustin Stoelwinder, were among those injured at the electronic music festival.

Laplante says they were entering the stage by the family camping area when they were struck by the off-road vehicle. 

"Out of my peripheral vision I saw a light behind me," said Laplante. "I remember screaming, and I got smacked down ... I jumped up, I heard lots of screaming, I saw the ATV in the stage. I looked beside me and I didn't see my boyfriend and I panicked … I was really scared. I looked over about 10 feet in front of me and over to the left I saw my boyfriend lying on his back and there was a medic around him and people around him, and there was other people down."

Laplante says Stoelwinder suffered a fractured neck, while she injured her ankle, thigh and elbow. 

'Incident was unpredictable'

Festival organizers say their security and medical staff reacted quickly and appropriately to an unexpected incident.

"This incident was unpredictable and all staff acted in the best possible way to respond and contain any further injury or threat," said festival organizers.

Police say the suspect, who is not from the Princeton area, was released from custody on a promise to appear. 

Alcohol and or substance use is believed to have been a factor in the crash. 

Anyone with information on the incident is asked to contact the Princeton RCMP or Crime Stoppers. 
 

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