World Taco Eating Championship canceled after man dies, Grizzlies say

Local News

FRESNO, California (KSEE/KGPE) – A Fresno man who died after participating in an amateur taco eating competition during a Fresno Grizzlies game has been identified as Dana Hutchings, 41, Fresno.

According to the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office, Hutchings began to choke during the competition that is when the ball park medical staff began to provide first aid.

“The preliminary information is that he was choking so there is a strong likelihood that contributed to his death. Again, once he got into the emergency room, staff was having to clear food out of his airway and complications continued in a little less of 30 minutes later he ended up passing away,” Fresno County Sheriff Public Information Officer Tony Botti said.

Gabby Perez, Hutchings’s step daughter told Your Central Valley that she had spoken to Hutchings over the phone before the taco eating competition.

“He was excited for the contest. He was really excited but I don’t know if he’d had eaten that day. He just told me that he hadn’t been feeling to good,” Perez said.
She said he step-father was diabetic.
She said she had gone fishing with him just few weeks ago and now she’s trying coup with loss of a loved one.

“That man was everything. Like, he helped during difficult times,” she said.

On Wednesday, Fresno Grizzlies said Tuesday’s amateur taco eating contest was not a major league eating event.
They announced they’re cancelling their World Taco Eating Championship but will still be hosting Taco Truck Throwdown at Chukchansi Park.

Fresno Grizzlies 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.”

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