The crime occurred at the Curiosity Music Festival, near Princeton, in June 2019. Event photo Facebook.

Man who drove into music festival crowd sentenced to 14 months in jail

Several people seriously hurt during event held near Princeton

The man who drove an ATV into a crowd of dancers at an outdoor musical festival near Princeton last summer was sentenced to 14 months in jail in Princeton court on Thursday (Aug. 13).

Dallas Grismer-Voght, 25, of Merritt, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving causing bodily harm.

Several festival-goers were seriously injured. One man suffered a broken neck, and another a fractured pelvis. A woman’s leg was broken, and others experienced fractures, concussion, bruising and torn ligaments.

“There has been significant impact on these individuals. It has not been easy for them,” said Crown counsel Andrew Vandersluys. In addition to physical impacts, victims continue to experience “post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms and ongoing anxiety.”

The incident occurred June 30, 2019, at the Curiosity Music Festival held on Pike Mountain, approximately 40 km north of Princeton.

“People were dancing and having a good time right next to the stage,” said Vandersluys.

“The vehicle showed up out of nowhere and hit several people. Panic set in. It was a chaotic scene.”

The attack on the crowd occurred at about 2 a.m.. Reading from an agreed statement of facts, Vandersluys said Grismer-Voght had ingested cocaine, amphetamines and LSD in the hours leading up to the tragedy.

“He didn’t know which way was up, or down.”

Grismer-Voght first came to the attention of festival staff when a camper reported a stranger had crawled into a tent on his site and fell unconscious.

An Emergency Health Services worker attended the campsite, and helped Grismer-Voght into his side-by-side ATV, in order to transport him to a harm reduction site.

Court heard Grismer-Voght assaulted the health care worker, and stole the off-road vehicle. He then eventually drove to the concert area, where he barrelled through the crowd and into the stage.

Defence counsel Dorothy O’Donnel agreed there were “horrendous consequences” for the victims of the crime. However, she said her client was appalled by what happened when the effects of his drug use wore off.

“He took responsibility. Even when he was still in his intoxicated state, he came to realize just how bad the consequences of his actions were.”

The joint submission from Crown and defence recommended the 14-month jail sentence, followed by two years probation and a three-year driving ban.

“I am terribly sorry for my actions at the festival,” Grismer-Voght said, addressing Judge Greg Koturbash. “I know that it was not, it wasn’t anything that I pictured myself doing … I am extremely sorry for all the injury I caused to all those people.”

Four injured when man crashes stolen side-by-side into crowd at music festival near Princeton

When passing sentence, Koturbash noted that judges are bound to follow jointly submitted sentencing recommendations, except in extreme cases.

He stressed the severity of Grismer-Voght’s misdeeds.

“There are stupider things in life to do, but that list is pretty short.”

Koturbash also acknowledged a positive pre-sentencing report, and the fact that Grismer-Voght has stopped using drugs and alcohol.

Grismer-Voght’s probation, on his release from prison, will be overseen by an Indigenous court in Merritt.

He was also ordered to pay restitution to two victims, in the amount of $3,250, for direct expenses.

To report a typo, email:
publisher@similkameenspotlight.com
.



andrea.demeer@similkameenspotlight.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Windstorm blows through Kelowna

Photos from readers in the Central Okanagan following Wednesday night’s storm

Halloween festivities cancelled at Kelowna’s Orchard Park Shopping Centre

Physical distancing guidelines would not be attainable while holding the annual trick-or-treat event

Strong weekend wind expected in Okanagan

Wind gusts of up to 60 km/hr expected

‘Schools are healthy’: IH medical health officer

Children have a low risk of catching and spreading COVID-19

Historic BC Tree Fruits head office in downtown Kelowna for sale

The company’s CEO said the decision was necessary due to a fickle fruit market

BC Liberal Leader talks drug addiction in the Lower Mainland

Drug addiction and public safety a top priority says Andrew Wilkinson

Kamloops Mounties happened upon alleged gang-related robbery, kidnapping

Michael Mathieson is charged with armed robbery, unlawful confinement and kidnapping

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Pandemic derails CP Holiday Train

Canadian Pacific will work to get donations to food banks while also producing an online music concert

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Interior Health reports five new COVID-19 cases

Across the region, 34 cases are active

Vanderhoof’s Brian Frenkel takes on top job in tough times

We can get through this, new local government leader says

Local councils important, Horgan says as municipal conference ends

B.C. NDP leader says ‘speed dating’ vital, online or in person

Most Read