Mass overdose at Central Washington University party

KIRO Radio Staff

Police say a dozen young people - most of them women - were taken to hospitals after overdosing on an unknown substance that may have been slipped into their drinks at a house party in central Washington.

According to police and a nursing supervisor, all but one had been released by late Saturday afternoon, and that person was in good condition at a hospital in Ellensburg.

The Cle Elum Police Department said the investigation started when officers and Kittitas County sheriff's deputies responded to a report of that one person was at a nearby grocery store who had apparently overdosed and possibly been assaulted.

Acting on information from the victim's friends, police went to a house in Roslyn and found 11 more young people either passed out or semi-conscious.

Police believe something may have been slipped into their drinks, and they expect toxicology tests on blood and urine samples taken from the victims to help determine what that might have been.

"We don't believe this was just a result of heavy drinking," Ferguson said.

At least 11 people were transported and treated at Kittitas Valley Community Hospital while some others were transported to hospitals in Yakima for treatment.

When police began sweeping the house for possible victims, one sheriff's deputy found and arrested a male who was engaging in sexual activity with a semi-conscious female, Ferguson said. That suspect had been released by Saturday morning.

Many of the 50 or so people present were underage students at Central Washington University, and Ferguson said college police, Cle Elum police and sheriff's deputies were continuing the investigation.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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