Element 11 came to a tragic halt when one of the attendees died after jumping into a ceremonial bonfire.
The three-story structure, built after a character from Maurice Sendak’s ‘Where the Wild Things Are’, had been burning for 30 minutes as part of the event’s festivities, when the man now identified as Chris Wallace ran into the fire.
At 2:48 you can see where Chris is standing in front of the burning art.
Festival officials said as the art project was being burned (burning the art is an integral part of the festivities) as a man suddenly rushed past security and jumped into the fire.
Despite the 25-40 volunteers securing the 15-meter perimeter around the burning artwork and the surrounding crowd who tried to stop him, Wallace managed to surpass everyone and throw himself into the flames. “He was very fast; he was very motivated.
It wasn’t an accident or any act of negligence on anybody’s part.
He had a very deliberate objective to get past our volunteers, past our safety perimeter… “He was camping here with some people who knew him and loved him and welcomed him into their group,” said Element 11 spokesman JP Bernier.
People nearby attempted to shout and even chase him, but they were unable to prevent him from running into the fire.
Wallace had told others at the festival that he planned to jump into the fire. “This is what he was going to do, and it’s what he did. It took not even seconds. He was just through the barricades and into the fire,” stated Lieutenant Steve Barrett of the Grantsville City Police Department.
Source: NY Daily Times