RENO, Nev. — The mother of a man who died after plunging into a massive fire at the Burning Man festival says he was attending the festival in Nevada for the first time.

Authorities say Aaron Joel Mitchell wasn’t under the influence of alcohol, but toxicology tests are underway for other drugs.

Mitchell’s mother told the Reno Gazette-Journal (http://on.rgj.com/2iWWskP) that he worked in construction and loved the outdoors.

Johnnye Mitchell says her son was from McAlester, Oklahoma, and had been living in Switzerland with his wife.

The 41-year-old man died after breaking through two layers of security as a giant wooden effigy burned on Saturday.

The festival ended Sunday with the burning of another giant wooden figure. About 50,000 people attended that signature ceremony.

Author photo
The AP is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, as a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members, it can maintain its single-minded focus on newsgathering and its commitment to the highest standards of objective, accurate journalism.