Things That Matter

Cautionary Tale: A Fresno Man Died During A Taco-Eating Contest And People Are Left Wondering How

Tacos are our witness. We’re guessing yours too. If we could only eat one kind of food for the rest of our lives, it would probably be tacos. The taco phenomenon has gone global, we’ve got Taco Tuesdays, a variety of tacos in every country, and taco accessories to fill our heart’s desire. But where’s the limit? Unfortunately, there is, in fact, a limit. 

A 41-year man died while participating in a taco-eating contest at a baseball stadium in Fresno, Ca. 

According to news reports, Dana Hutchings was at the Grizzlies and the Memphis Redbirds game and entered a contest that took place between innings at Chukchansi Park. Hutchings had told his mom and sister that he would be participating in the taco-eating contest hours before it took place. 

The Fresno Bee reports that Hutchings went down seven minutes into the contest. 

During the contest, the man started choking. He fell and subsequently hit his head on the table. 

Credit: Instagram/@bodegasobe

According to CBS Sports, medical professionals performed CPR on him until the paramedics arrived. They pronounced him dead upon arriving at the Community Regional Medical Center. The autopsy with the cause of death has yet to be released. 

“He told us he was going to a taco eating contest, but we didn’t think something like this would happen,” his sister, Mecca Hutchings, told ABC30. His mother added, “He said my son wasn’t responding to anything. How they identified him was that he has a tattoo on his hand that says Dora.” 

One person that saw him eating the tacos noticed that Hutchings “was eating so fast compared to the other two (contestants),” Matthew Boylan told The Fresno Bee. He added, “It was like he’d never eaten before. He was just shoving the tacos down his mouth without chewing.”

It’s unclear how many other people were participating in the contest, or what type of taco they were consuming. 

Credit: Instagram/@hooplacatering

“We are devastated to learn that the fan that received medical attention following an event at Tuesday evening’s game has passed away,” the Grizzlies said in a statement provided by Deadspin. “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 contest, which occurred on Tuesday, was scheduled as a kick-off to the main event, Taco Truck Throwdown 9, that is set for Saturday. 

Credit: Instagram/@itsgonzilla

The taco party on Saturday includes a live musical performance by A.B. Quintanilla’s Kumbia Kings. There was also another taco eating-contest for that day, but they have since canceled that portion. 

Andy McMurray, a fan of the Grizzlies baseball team, said it was right for them to cancel the taco-eating contest after the tragic event that happened earlier this week. 

“It’s a sad thing to see happen because people are just trying to have fun. It’s sad to see, I think the Grizzlies acted in the appropriate way considering,” McMurray told ABC30.

Some people are not happy about the cancelation of Saturday’s taco-eating contest. 

The contest is being canceled out of respect and also out of concern. It is a freak and rare event that happened earlier this week, but imagine if someone else had an accident during the taco-eating contest? There could be serious repercussions for the event organizers. Instead, they should do some kind of tribute to Hutchings by having his family say some words about him. 

While this is no laughing matter, people on social media couldn’t help but see the irony of someone dying by eating such a tasty dish.

This is not the first time someone has died in a food-eating contest. These sorts of competitions shouldn’t be taken lightly. A lot of training goes into this competitive eating sport.

Do you think you’d rest in peace dying in such a way?

As much as we love tacos, we don’t believe this would be a good way to go. What do you think?

READ: These Wild Taco Creations Have Us Feeling All Sorts Of Ways 

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Taco Bell Is Celebrating The ‘Taco Moon’ With A Free Taco Giveaway Around The World

Culture

Taco Bell Is Celebrating The ‘Taco Moon’ With A Free Taco Giveaway Around The World

We’re only a few months into 2021 and we’ve already seen several special moons. We’ve had the “wolf moon,” the “snow moon” and even the “pink moon,” but the next moon may be the tastiest one yet.

In what maybe one of the best marketing campaigns in a generation, Taco Bell recently announced its plans to take over the night sky on May 4 during the crescent moon phase with its very own “taco moon.” And people around the world will be able to celebrate.

Taco Bell announces free giveaway to celebrate the upcoming ‘Taco Moon.’

“On May 4, the world’s largest and brightest object in the night sky will resemble a favorite indulgence, the taco — a new lunar phase* we are affectionately calling the ‘Taco Moon,'” the company shared in a statement.

It added that important asterisk to note while Taco Bell “does not claim to own copyrights to a lunar phase of the moon,” it “stands behind the fact this really does look like a Taco Bell taco.”

And, when the Taco Moon arrives on May 4, hungry fans in the U.S. craving a treat can score a free Crunchy Taco between 8-11:59 p.m. in-store or all day through the app or online.

Fans will need to head to their local Taco Bell restaurant and simply mention the ‘Taco Moon’ or say ‘I saw the Taco Moon’ to claim a free Crunchy Taco Supreme. This fan-fave Taco features a crunchy shell filled with seasoned beef, sour cream, fresh lettuce, tomato, and cheese. No stress for vegetarian taco-lovers, the Taco Supreme can also be made with black beans.

To help keep track of the special lunar phase, Taco Bell even released a helpful chart.

taco bell graphic

And Americans aren’t the only ones who can score a freebie. Some international locations are getting in on the action, too.

“Taco Bell has been an established brand in the U.S. for nearly 60 years and we are thrilled by the accelerating fandom we’re seeing globally,” Julie Felss Masino, president of Taco Bell, International, shared. “As we’re opening more and more restaurants internationally, we know the May 4 moon will take us to new ‘heights’ as we introduce ourselves to new future fans in a delicious way.”

Participating Taco Bell restaurants include some locations in the United Kingdom, Australia, India, Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Puerto Rico, however, in those markets, guests will get a local favorite like a free Crunchy Taco with the purchase of a beverage in Guatemala and the option of a free black bean or seasoned chicken Crunchy Taco in India.

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Family Of Man Who Died From Taco Eating Contest Sue Fresno Grizzlies Owner

Entertainment

Family Of Man Who Died From Taco Eating Contest Sue Fresno Grizzlies Owner

Dana Hutchings, 41, entered a taco eating contest during a Fresno Grizzlies game in 2019. He choked and died during the contest and now his son has filed a lawsuit against the baseball team.

The son of a man who died from a taco eating contest is suing for wrongful death.

Dana Hutchings, 41, died after choking during a taco eating contest during a Fresno Grizzlies game. His son has filed a wrongful death lawsuit claiming that the event organizers were not equipped to host the event. Furthermore, the lawsuit claims that the organizers failed to provide a medical response team.

“People say all the time he knew what he was getting into, well clearly he didn’t,” Martin Taleisnik, an attorney representing Hutchings’ son, Marshall told CBS17.

Marshall and his attorney are pushing back at the notion that Dana should have known better.

People have sounded off on social media criticizing the family for filing the lawsuit. Yet, the family and their attorney are calling attention to the lack of information given to contestants.

“If you don’t know all the pitfalls, how can you truly be consenting and participating freely and voluntarily? It’s a risk that resulted in a major loss to Marshall,” Taleisnik told CBS17.

Dana’s family is seeking a monetary settlement from the Fresno Grizzlies owners.

The wrongful death lawsuit names Fresno Sports and Events as the responsible party. The lawsuit also notes that alcohol was made available to contestants and added to the likelihood of the tragedy.

“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,” a statement from the Fresno Grizzlies read after the death in 2019. “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.”

READ: Kobe Bryant’s Wrongful Death Lawsuit Has Tragically Been Moved To Federal Court Despite Vanessa Bryant’s Pleas

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