RIVERSIDE COUNTY, CA – Two days after dozens of wedding guests gathered at a Southern California venue near Beaumont and became mysteriously ill, sheriff’s investigators say they are investigating the possibility of criminal activity in connection to the strange and scary situation. In total, at least 25 people ended their Saturday night celebration with a trip to the Emergency Room.
Five people suffered serious symptoms, nine were in moderate condition and 11 had minor signs of sickness, a county fire department spokesperson said following the ordeal.
As of Monday, the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department said that they had “assumed the investigation into any criminal culpability” and say the case is still an “active investigation.”
No other official details or updates were provided, but a guest who was at the wedding described the scene as chaotic as people all around her began to get sick around 7:30 p.m. The woman, who wished not to be identified, tells Patch that “most of us tested positive for cannabinoid” once at the hospital — though none of them had knowingly or purposely consumed the drug.
The guest Patch spoke with said she and her friends “felt super drunk” and mysteriously confused and dizzy, despite not drinking much.
“This was when the DJ was trying to do the toast… people puking and crying, going pale,” she said of the scene.
Riverside County firefighters, paramedics, and sheriff’s deputies were dispatched at 8:02 p.m. Saturday to the wedding venue in the 31100 block of San Timoteo Canyon Road, near the Riverside-San Bernardino line and adjacent to Redlands. Beaumont police and firefighters and police from neighboring cities and San Bernardino County were also called in.
Five people were vomiting violently and 20 others also suffered illness from a cause that had yet to be determined, said Jody Hagemann of the Riverside County Fire Department.
The ill were transported by ground ambulance and a Pass Transit bus provided by the Beaumont Police Department to area hospitals, Hagemann said. Others transported themselves, witnesses say.
“We just wanted to get out of there,” the wedding guest told Patch. “People were acting so strange.”
The Riverside County Fire Department Hazardous Materials Team has ruled out hazardous materials, however, the investigation continues, she said.
— Contributed image / City News Service contributed to this report