Saturday, July 20, 2024

Two Carnival Workers Overdose, One Is Dead On the Opening Day of the Mendocino County Fair 

The rides at the Apple Fair in years past [Photo by Matt LaFever]

As thousands of Mendocino County residents prepare for the fun and spectacle of this weekend’s annual Mendocino County Fair and Apple Show in Boonville, two people employed by the carnival company that runs the fair rides and games overdosed in a matter of hours this morning. Despite attempts by medics on the scene, one of them tragically died.

Within a few hours, medics and fire responded to two separate subjects losing consciousness from possible overdoses at the Boonville Fairgrounds.

Upon inquiry with Mendocino County Sheriff Matt Kendall, he confirmed the first subject was found in medical distress and after being revived using Narcan and CPR transported to a local hospital. Roughly two hours later, a second person sadly died despite first responders’ attempts to revive them using Narcan and CPR.

Sheriff Kendall made note that at this point the incidents appear to be overdoses but until toxicology results this is simply “a best guess”. He did tell us that the subject who passed away was found in possession of paraphernalia and possible narcotics.

Sheriff Matt Kendall told us he met with Jim Brown, manager of the Mendocino County Fair, and the head of the carnival company, and confirmed the subjects who overdosed were employed by the carnival company but did not operate any rides.

Out of concern for public safety, Sheriff Kendall ordered all rides at the fair to be re-inspected this afternoon before anyone is allowed to ride. He also to us the situation has been reported to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

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?A spokeswoman for the Mendocino County Fairgrounds gave a limited statement telling us the incident is “under investigation” and clarified the incident did not occur on the carnival grounds. 

Sheriff Kendall clarified that the overdoses occurred on the section of the fairground property where carnival workers set up temporary residences while working the event.

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  1. Stupid is as stupid does. A carnival? What a great metaphor for the bullshit associated with the drug culture in this country. If people are so stupid to try fentanyl after all the warnings and previous overdoses then good luck and godspeed dummies. What a bunch of losers?

  2. Drug test all of the workers! There is innocent children, families riding on these rides and if the operators are under the influence should be arrested plus fired immediately.

  3. This last summer my family and I went to the fair at night and it was nothing but a bunch of rowdy drunk adults letting their kids run unsupervised and then drunk driving them home. The fair as always is a spectacle, a carnival, the people running it are struggling, and the people attending it are looking for release. When will we as a society provide healthy festivals (temporary suspensions of reality, which we all need) for our communities?

  4. Anyone notice there is no comment of checking the other workers for possible substance possession or use? Shouldn’t they be concerned of it happening again while children are present?

  5. Carnies have much history of being drunks and drug addicts. Why would anyone get on a ride that was put together in a few hours by people who are either high or hungover ? Or play games of “skill” that are usually rigged.. Carnivals are a thing of the past .


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Matt LaFever
Matt LaFeverhttps://mendofever.com/
I have been an Emerald Triangle resident since 2006 and this is year ten in Mendocino County. Please, email me at matthewplafever@gmail.com if you know a story that needs to be told.

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