Wyoming woman dead after being hit by bus at Burning Man counterculture festival in Nevada

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BLACK ROCK DESERT, Nevada — A 29-year-old Wyoming woman attending the Burning Man counterculture festival in Nevada died early Thursday after she was struck by a bus carrying passengers around the playa in the Black Rock Desert.

The Pershing County sheriff's office identified the victim on Thursday as Alicia Louise Cipicchio of Jackson. No other injuries were reported.

The accident happened just after midnight near Center Camp in the temporary village named Black Rock City, event spokesman Jim Graham said. Cipicchio was pronounced dead on the scene about 120 miles north of Reno, he said.

Cipicchio was a 2008 graduate of the University of North Carolina, Greensboro, where she studied art. She worked at RARE Gallery of Fine Art in Teton County near Yellowstone National Park, the Reno Gazette-Journal reported.

Burning Man co-founder Marian Goodell said it was a "tragic accident."

"Our thoughts and prayers are with her family, friends and campmates. Black Rock Rangers and Emergency Services Department staff are providing support to those affected," she said in a statement.

Last year, a record 68,000 people attended the celebration that organizers call the largest outdoor arts festival in North America, with its drum circles, decorated art cars, guerrilla theatrics and colorful theme camps.

The last accidental death there was seven years ago, when an attendee fell under a trailer, Graham said.

Humboldt General Hospital CEO Jim Parrish told the Gazette-Journal earlier this week that two Burning Man participants have died at the hospital in Lovelock since it began providing medical response in 2011, but it wasn't clear if they were in transit or actually at the event.

At least three other people have died in accidents at Burning Man since it moved from San Francisco's Baker Beach to the Black Rock Desert in 1990.

Michael Furey, a neon artist from San Francisco and friend of Burning Man co-founder Larry Harvey, was killed in a collision with a van while riding his motorcycle at night in 1996.

Katherine Lampman of Belmont, California, died after she reportedly jumped off a moving art car and fell into the path of another oncoming vehicle in 2003. That same year, Barry Jacobs died from injuries he suffered when the small plane he was piloting crashed at the Black Rock City airstrip.


Information from: Reno Gazette-Journal, http://www.rgj.com

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