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Fan Dies After Choking During a Taco-Eating Contest in Fresno Baseball Game

4:52 PM PDT on August 14, 2019

    [dropcap size=big]O[/dropcap]n Tuesday night, a taco eating contest was held between innings at the Fresno Grizzlies game against the Memphis Redbirds at Chukchansi Park. Dana Hutchings, 41, began to choke during the competition and eventually collapsed on the ground.

    EMTs performed the Heimlich before paramedics arrived and took him to Fresno Regional Medical Center, where he died. Via a video published on The Fresno Bee, the Fresno County sheriff-coroner spokesman Tony Bottithe says that the preliminary information is that he was choking and “that there is a strong likelihood that that contributed to his death.” Bottithe also reveals that the medical team at the local emergency room “began to clear food out of his airway to work on him” before the victim passed away. An autopsy will be performed tomorrow to cite the official cause of death. 

    Hutchings participated in the ballpark’s annual taco-eating contest before the annual Taco Truck Throwdown’ held this Saturday.

    In a news release, Fresno Grizzlies President Derek Franks said, “We are devastated to learn that the fan that received medical attention following an event at Tuesday evening’s game has passed away. The Fresno Grizzlies extend our heartfelt prayers and condolences to the family of Mr. Hutchings. The safety and security of our fans is our highest priority. We will work closely with local authorities and provide any helpful information that is requested.”

    The baseball game did not end after the incident, and The Taco Truck Throwdown event will continue.

     According to Grizzlies spokesman Paul Braverman, The World Taco Eating Championship will be canceled. 

    L.A. Taco will update as the story develops.

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