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

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.

Just Posted

Young Federico “Fred” Lenzi. (Raymond Lenzi/Contributed)
Italian moved to Okanagan with hope; he ended up being sent to a WWII internment camp

Raymond Lenzi shares his grandfather’s story ahead of Canada’s planned formal apology to Italian-Canadians

The bodies of Carlo and Erick Fryer were discovered by a local couple walking on a remote forest road in Naramata on May 10. (Submitted)
Kamloops brothers identified as pair found dead near Penticton

The bodies of Carlo and Erick Fryer were discovered by a local couple walking

Jane Long-Haggerty, a chartered accountant with a member of the Salvation Army Food Bank, hold up a cheque for $740. Long-Haggerty decided to cut her fees in half and ask her clients to donate whatever they felt they could to the food bank. The idea landed her a room full of food and $740 to the Salvation Army Food Bank. (Submitted)
Penticton accounting firm gives big return to food bank

Long-Haggerty said this year’s tax season showed how bad the pandemic has impacted everyone

Doses of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine are seen being prepared on Wednesday, May 12, 2021, in Decatur, Ga. Hundreds of children, ages 12 to 15, received the Pfizer vaccine at the DeKalb Pediatric Center, just days after it was approved for use within their age group. (AP Photo/Ron Harris)
One death, 60 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

The death is connected to the outbreak at Spring Valley long-term care in Kelowna

A brown bear and two cubs were spotted near Killiney Beach May 10. (Michael Dick photo)
Warm spring brings bears out earlier in Okanagan

Residents urged to keep their garbage secure until the morning of pickup

Prince Rupert was one of the first B.C. communities targeted for mass vaccination after a steep rise in infections. Grey area marks community-wide vaccine distribution. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. tracks big drop in COVID-19 infections after vaccination

Prince Rupert, Indigenous communities show improvement

A COVID-19 patient receives oxygen outside a hospital in Jammu, India, Wednesday, May 12, 2021. (AP/Channi Anand)
B.C. donates $500K to Red Cross COVID-19 relief efforts in India

The money will provide oxygen cylinders and ambulances for patients in communities grappling with the virus

Kelowna rain
Kelowna records driest March on record, spells summer trouble for Okanagan

In March, Kelowna received a total of 2.6 mm of precipitation, compared to the monthly average of almost 22 mm

Superintendent Aaron Paradis, community services officer with the Surrey RCMP, during a media availability about a recent drug bust in Port Coquitlam. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Police seize 13 million ‘potentially fatal doses’ of pure fentanyl at B.C. drug lab

The evidence was seized at large, illicit drug manufacturing site in Port Coquitlam

B.C. Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth debates the province’s latest measure to control crime, March 10, 2021. The legislation allows police to impound vehicles used to transport weapons and further restricts sale of vehicle and body armour. (B.C. legislature video)
B.C. seeking ways to ‘name and shame’ gangsters, minister says

Mike Farnworth appeals to family members to talk to police

Jonathan Prest had to climb way up to the top of a dead red cedar tree to rescue a terrified cat, but he made it up and down successfully. (Facebook photos)
Tree cutter rescues cat stuck 100 feet up a dead and dried-out cedar

Jonathan Prest put himself in extreme peril to get a terrified cat out of a dangerous situation

The Greater Victoria School District continues to face backlash over its wording and approach to Indigenous learners in its 2021-2022 budget talks. (Black Press Media file photo)
School district’s approach to Indigenous learners leaves Victoria teachers ‘disgusted’

Backlash grows over ‘pattern of colonial thinking permeating the leadership’

Joyce and John Henderson were among 25 British Columbians named 2021 BC Achievement Community Award winners by the BC Achievement Foundation. (Martha Wickett-Salmon Arm Observer)
Salmon Arm couple recognized for their decades of contributions to community

Joyce and John Henderson receive provincial achievement award

Phil Hotzon gets surprised with a brand new e-bike after family and friends raise money to replace his broken one (Amandalina Letterio/Capital News).
Friends and family rally to replace Kelowna man’s broken electric tricycle

After crashing his e-bike into Mill Creek, loved ones raised fundraised and replaced it

Most Read