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Cause of death at Shambhala ruled undetermined

Jennifer Lynn Gruber-Ball died at the Shambhala Music Festival last year but the coroner hasn
Jennifer Lynn Gruber-Ball died at the Shambhala Music Festival last year but the coroner hasn't been able to determine the cause.
— image credit: Web photo

The BC Coroners Service hasn't been able to determine exactly what caused a woman's death at the Shambhala Music Festival near Salmo last year.

On August 9, Calgary resident Jennifer Lynn Gruber-Ball, 33, was found unresponsive in her camper van and was treated by festival medical personnel.

Despite advanced life support techniques provided by the Shambhala medical team, including physicians, she was pronounced dead shortly after 7 a.m.

She and her husband had arrived at the festival the previous evening. She was seen drinking a small amount of alcohol and eating a portion of a marijuana brownie, but her death has not been linked to drugs.

According to the coroner's report, at midnight she went to bed in the camper van and about 3:30 a.m. she felt sick and awoke her husband.

They decided to go to the medical tent, but while she was getting dressed, she collapsed. Her husband immediately called for help.

Gruber had a heart defect from birth and was a smoker, but the coroner could find no other recorded medical history that would have been considered a risk factor in her sudden death.

A toxicology exam found nothing and a postmortem couldn't identify the cause of death either, although it confirmed the presence of the heart defect.

"This defect could not be determined to have caused a role in the death and had not caused any other anatomical changes," coroner Andrew Cave wrote. He classified the cause of death as undetermined and made no recommendations.

Among other relatives, Gruber-Ball is survived by her husband, parents, two sisters, and a brother.

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