Check out this picture. See the kid in the top row, second from
right, the one with the big smile? That’s Shane Zimmardi.
Shane played with my son Daniel (bottom right) on the legendary Blue Angels. The team had a reputation in South Kitsap Soccer Club for kicking butt and taking names. They were the team to beat in their age division in the mid-2000s.
Shane was a ball of energy, always with that great big smile. It could be raining sleet sideways, and you’d think Shane was out for a day the beach. And fast! That kid could run.
I was heartsick on May 13 to see that Shane had died at St. Joseph Medical Center in Tacoma. The cause of his death, as reported by a close friend, was a drug overdose.
On May 8, Shane attended a rave in Tacoma and consumed a drug he thought was “molly.”
“MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine), also known as ecstasy or molly, is an amphetamine derivative that has both stimulant and hallucinogenic effects,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Although MDMA is an illicit substance, it is used recreationally, including at electronic dance-music festivals, and can cause adverse health events. These include hyperthermia (spiking body temperature), seizures and organ failure among other effects. The drug, which is often laced with other substances, has been linked to a number of deaths across the country.
According to a KOMO story on Shane’s death, nine people were transported by the Tacoma Fire Department from the Life in Color event where Shane became ill.
Ashton Soete, a close friend of Shane’s, posted on Facebook about the availability of test kits that can quickly and cheaply screen for contamination. Like prophylactics to prevent STDs and pregnancy for people who are sexually active, the use of these kits should be encouraged among people who do use drugs, Soete said.
I can’t speak to that, although a doctor quoted by KOMO said the tests are unreliable.
The CDC reported on an electronic dance music festival in New York in 2013 where twenty-two people suffered adverse effects from the heat of the event, drugs and alcohol. Nine people became severely ill and two of those people died. The two who died both had MDMA in their system.
The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene investigated and as a result, the department and festival promoters together “developed multiple interventions including implementing a surveillance system for adverse events and safety measures (e.g. roaming teams of peer volunteers, stricter entrance procedures, procedures to reduce heat exposure, and required viewing of harm reduction messages before entering the festival).”
“These interventions might help prevent adverse health events at future electronic dance-music festivals in New York City and elsewhere,” the CDC states.
Shane’s brother Forrest has an email where you can send memories and pictures of Shane, Inmemoryofshanezimmardi@gmail.com.
A celebration of Shane’s life will be held at 1 p.m. at Olalla Bible Church, followed by a gathering open to all at the Zimmardi home, 11132 Banner Rd SE Olalla, WA 98359.