Baseball Fan Possibly Chokes to Death After Taco Eating Competition, Grizzlies Cancel Upcoming Contest



UPDATE: The Grizzlies say the Taco Truck Throwdown 9 already scheduled will move forward on Saturday, August 17, 2019 but there will be no competitive eating as a part of this year’s event.


FRESNO CA (KMJ) – A Fresno man has died after taking part in a taco eating contest Tuesday night at Chukchansi Park

41-year-old Dana Hutchings collapsed during the contest held in the middle of the third inning of the Fresno Grizzlies’ Game on Tuesday, August 13.

Fresno Grizzlies President Derek Franks released the following statement

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.”

PLEASE NOTE: Tuesday’s amateur taco-eating contest was NOT a Major League Eating sanctioned event. Nor was it a qualifier for a MLE sanctioned event. Major League Eating played no role in Tuesday’s game whatsoever.

Fresno County Sheriff’s Spokesperson Tony Botti says EMT’s performed the Heimlich maneuver on Hutchings and gave him CPR before he was taken to CRMC.

“He began to choke on some of the tacos. Members of the Grizzlies medical staff immediately rushed over, started to give him first aid, they then turned him over to American Ambulance, who transported him to Community Regional Medical Center. Staff began pulling food out to clear his airway. However, at 8:24 (p.m.) he passed away.” said Botti.

Botti says the Fresno County Coroner’s office has yet to rule on Hutchings’ cause of death.

An autopsy is scheduled for Thursday, August 15, 2019.


Click to hear the report by KMJ’s Liz Kern: