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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