Man Dies In Taco Eating Contest

Luca Nebuloni, CC BY 2.0

By Anthony Galaviz, Aug 15, 2019

Fresno Bee – A man participating in a taco eating contest at a Fresno Grizzlies baseball game died, according to the Fresno County Coroner’s Office.

Dana Hutchings, 41, was pronounced dead at Community Regional Medical Center after being rushed there from Chukchansi Park on Tuesday night.

There is no official cause of death pending toxicology reports and a review of the man’s medical records.

An autopsy is scheduled for Thursday, though it could take up to a month for a final determination to be made, coroner’s spokesman Tony Botti said.

Emergency staff at the hospital did clear food from Hutchings’ throat, Botti said, and preliminary indications are that he died of choking.

In a news release, Grizzlies team 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.”

Grizzlies fan Matthew Boylan, who attended Tuesday night’s game with his wife and four children, said he was also able to watch the taco eating contest from his seat in Section 105 just by turning around.

Another 30 to 40 fans stood nearby to watch the contest up close.

Boylan quickly noticed Hutchings because “he was eating so fast compared to the other two (contestants).”

“It was like he’d never eaten before,” Boylan said. “He was just shoving the tacos down his mouth without chewing.”

About seven minutes into the contest, Hutchings abruptly collapsed … Read more. 

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