BLACK ROCK CITY, Nev. (KOLO) - The Sacramento County Coroner's Office has ruled a man who broke through two levels of Burning Man security and climbed into the man as it burned on the Black Rock Desert playa committed suicide.
41-year-old Aaron Joel Mitchell was flown to the burn center at UC Davis, where he was pronounced dead. Mitchell was an Oklahoma native who had been living in Switzerland.
The Pershing County Sheriff’s Office said tests showed he was not intoxicated with alcohol.
Black Rock City fire personnel rescued Mitchell from the fire after the incident about 10:20 p.m. September 2, 2017 and started emergency medical treatment there before he was airlifted.
The coroner lists cardiac arrest, shock and third-degree burns as the causes of death.
An estimated 70,000 people attended the 2017 counter-culture festival, building Black Rock City on the Pershing County side of the Black Rock Desert. The festival culminated with the burning of the man, a giant wooden figure.