Jude Quirinale | Credit: Courtesy

UC Santa Barbara junior Jude Quirinale, 21, of Monterey died last week after suffering an apparent fentanyl overdose in Isla Vista during Deltopia weekend, the annual unsanctioned street party that drew thousands to the college town this year.

According to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office, an unconscious person was reported along the 800 block of Camino del Sur in Isla Vista around 5:45 p.m. on Saturday, April 8. The patient, Quirinale, was taken to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, where the Sheriff’s Office says the third-year physics major died Wednesday, April 12, from a poly-substance overdose. 

According to a GoFundMe page set up by his family, Quirinale’s fatal overdose was caused by a drug laced with fentanyl, which stopped his heart for 20 minutes before he could be resuscitated. The family took him off life support after it was determined there was no way of “bringing him back,” the post says. The GoFundMe has so far raised nearly $30,000, far exceeding the $5,000 goal to cover “afterlife services.”

In response to Quirinale’s death, UCSB released a statement expressing sympathy to his family and friends, and letting students know of support available from Counseling and Psychological Services and from the Academic & Staff Assistance Program for faculty and staff.

Credit: Courtesy S.B. County Sheriff’s Office

Deltopia has historically been a chaotic and even dangerous event, prompting authorities to increase police presence and safety measures since the event began as Floatopia in 2004. In preparation for this year’s event, the Sheriff’s Office closed Isla Vista beaches and streets, and restricted parking and sound volume and timing. Still, the influx of emergency medical calls — the majority for acute alcohol intoxication — became overwhelming and the Sheriff’s volunteer Search and Rescue team was called to help firefighters and medics. Deputies also assisted, answering calls and clearing the swarming streets for emergency personnel to get in and out. In addition to significantly larger crowds this year compared to last, citations and arrests were also up. The Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Office and partner agencies reporting a total of 151 citations and 23 arrests, up from 34 and four last year, respectively.

The Isla Vista Community Services District (IVCSD) took a different approach — hosting a Spring Festival on Saturday at Little Acorn Park. The live music, free food from local vendors, and public restrooms drew more than 3,000 attendees.

“The goal is to provide a safe and healthy activity that alleviates the problems associated with Deltopia in a community-based way, rather than through enforcement,” said Jonathan Abboud, general manager for the IVCSD.

The event also partnered with Gauchos for Recovery to hand out overdose prevention kits and set up “safety stations” that included cell phone charging, sunscreen, and unarmed escorts.


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