End of the world party with over 14,000 Facebook guests not police priority

Memorial site for 19-year-old who passed away in his pickup truck after a party at Tree Flats.
Image Credit: InfoTel Multimedia
December 14, 2012 - 4:50 PM

RCMP are not concerned about an end of the world party circulating online that has generated over 14,000 confirmed guests to Tree Flats in Kamloops on Dec. 21, despite a teenage death and serious injuries at the location in the last year and a half.

"As of right now there's nothing that has been set up specifically," Staff Sgt. Grant Learned said. "We are very flexible we can adapt to these rising events."

Mayor Peter Milobar said an event of that nature would be a concern.

"Obviously it's not good if a massive amount of people turn up to an area like that, but in terms of response it would really fall to the RCMP," he said.

Learned said the Facebook page is anonymous which questions its credibility, but he was not aware that each guest has a name and profile linking directly back to them and admitted he knows little when it comes to the Internet.

"If we reacted to everything that came on Facebook… we would spend all of our time spinning our wheels," Learned said. "Do people honestly believe that Dec. 21 is going to be any different than midnight on Dec. 20?"

He said several hoaxes that sound similar to this event were reported on the Lower Mainland that wasted police time and money.

"That is an element of public mischief that creates an unnecessary demand on police resources," he said. "There's no reason to give it any degree of credibility."

Learned said RCMP are monitoring the situation.

"It's not something that is right now high on our radar screen."

Two known incidents have occurred in the Tree Flats area in the past year and a half. A 17-year-old girl was run over by a truck during a party at Tree Flats on June 21. She sustained a broken shoulder, rib and punctured lung. A 19-year-old Kamloops man was also found dead in his pickup truck, June 23, 2011 after partying at Tree Flats the night before.

Learned said in the past, checkpoints have been set up in the area.

"Vehicles are checked for the presence of minors and liquor and any other contraband," he said, noting there is just one road to the Barnhartvale area. "There (are) no other places around there, it's in an isolated area."

While Learned discredited the event, he wanted parents to be aware of potential risks of letting their youngsters check it out. He noted hypothermia and road conditions as issues to consider.

"Make an informed decision," he said. 

— Jessica Wallace

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2012
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