Competitive Eating / Drinking Deaths category

Newtown Bee has a report on the "Celebration of Kindness and day of remembrance" held in Newtown, CT on October 27 to honor Caitlin Nelson, who passed away after choking in a pancake eating contest held at Sacred Heart University in March.
RIP "Tiny" Tim Rauscheder, who passed away on October 30 according to these youtube comments. LA Beast confirmed the passing on twitter. 2013 article about Tim.
Malaysian Digest reports that Nigerian college student Borokinni Sunday Pelumi passed away after choking in a bread eating contest held during the birthday celebration of a friend at a hotel in Port Dickson, Malayasia.
"Furious" Pete Czerwinski produced a video where he commented on the recent competitive eating fatalities and talked about his own incidents. He described choking during a Guinness record attempt on live British television, which can be viewed online.

Competitive Eating/Drinking fatalities, updated April 4, 2017

I have updated the list of competitive eating / drinking fatalities with 2015-17 passings. I do not claim this a full roster, just incidents which have been publicized on English language newspapers and websites.

Previous edition of list (last updated Nov 2014)

1906 Normburg, IL Cheese contest results in fatality and put two others in critical condition
1983 North Carolina Marine dies in donut eating contest at the Cherry Point Marine Corps Air Station
1999 Chicago, a 12 year old school girl dies playing “Chubby Bunny” in an unsupervised classroom. The goal of “Chubby Bunny” is to say “Chubby Bunny” after stuffing one’s mouth with as many marshmallows as possible.
2002 Japan, school boy dies in cafeteria after attempting a stunt seen on a televised eating contest.
2004 Canada man dies after choking in chicken wing eating contest held at Regina bar.
2004 Japan, housewife dies in bread eating contest in Fukusaki, Hyogo Prefecture
2006 Canada, woman dies in “Chubby Bunny” contest held at Ontario fair
2007 Sacramento, woman dies of water intoxication after competing in a bladder endurance contest sponsored by a radio station.
2007 India, man (believed to be epileptic) dies from breathing complications in an idli eating contest
2008 Wales, man dies in unplanned post party cupcake contest to use up left over buffet food. Articles about the contest do not make it clear if the contest was a mouth-stuffing contest or a speed eating contest
2008 Taiwan graduate student dies after victory in a steamed bun eating contest
2008 India, engineer at Nokia Siemens of India chokes after making a pastry eating bet at a company party.
2009 Kaliningrad, Russia Boris Isaev chokes in pancake eating contest
2009 Hyderabad, India Bandu Joshi dies after stuffing 6 laddus into his mouth
2010 Phetchchaburi, Thailand 66 year old Hing Laichan dies after choking in noodle eating contest
2010 San Pedro, California 13 year old Noah Akers choked on a hot dog topped with whipped cream at a fundraiser for Haiti
2011 Tokmak, Ukraine 77 year old Ivan Mendel wins dumpling eating contest, then dies
2011 Timonium, Maryland (near death experience) Michael Solano lacks a pulse for four minutes after choking at a crab cake eating contest, then recovers after hospitalization
2012 Deerfield Beach, Florida Eddy Archbold dies after winning an insect eating contest held at a reptile store
2012 Surrey, BC Samaljit Aulakh experiences brain damage after choking in a gulab jamun eating contest. As of July 2013, he remained hospitalized.
2012 Tunisia Dau Fatnassi dies after eating 28 raw eggs to win a bet
2013 India, 13 year old schoolboy Bharat Sharma chokes to death after attempting to swallow two idlis
2013 England Sharon Dixon passes away after choking on boiled eggs at a pub’s eating contest
2013 Australia 64 year old Bruce Holland experiences a fatal heart attack while participating in a tavern’s chilli pie eating contest
2013 Spain Joaquín Alcaraz Gracia passes away after winning a beer drinking contest
2013 Romania unnamed 60 year old chokes to death in a sausage eating contest.
2014 England Gary Mark Sims choked after attempting to swallow three eggs at a time at a pub in Berkeley, England
2014 Custer, SD Walter Eagle Tail chokes to death in a July 3 hot dog eating contest
2014 Nellukuthupara, India Kandamuthan chokes in an idli eating contest
2014 Staryl, Ukraine Lyana Koroleva experiences a heart attack while waiting to receive a prize for winning a vareniki (dumpling) eating contest
2015 Uganda 30 year old man passes away after eating 8 mandazzis (doughnuts). He did not drink any water
2016 Indonesia Jakarta resident chokes on piece of chicken trying to qualify for a Kentucky Fried Chicken of Indonesia contest
2016 Santa Fe, NM Debra Harbeck chokes after competing in corn dog eating contest where participants simulated performing oral sex. She had had a blood alcohol content between 0.13 and 0.14 percent
2016 Kenya Eating contest held at a funeral results in blocked windpipe
2016 Japan 28 year old male chokes on rice ball
2017 South Korea Freshman orientation eating contest results in airway obstruction for female student
2017 Fairfield, CT Sacred Heart University student Caitlin Nelson chokes during Greek Week pancake eating contest, passes away three days later
2017 Denver Travis Maloof chokes while attempting the “Tex Ass” challenge at Voodoo Doughnut

Comments (5)

update April 6 Joey Chestnut has an interview with WTSP about competitive eating dangers update April 4 Voodoo Doughnut has suspended the challenge at all locations KUSA reports that Travis Maloof passed away after choking during an attempt at the "Tex-Ass" Challenge at Voodoo Doughnut in Denver early Sunday morning. update KDVR has an interview with former MLE eater Brian Beard about the fatality who says “Every competitive eater has choked. It happens.”

Choking in college pancake contest results in fatality

update April 10 The New York Post has an article about the funeral | Video about funeral

update April 6 A funeral mass will be held Saturday in Westfield, NJ. The official autopsy lists the cause of death as accidental asphyxia.

update April 5 InsideEdition has an interview with Fairfield Police Sgt. Mike Paris who says “Her mouth was compacted with pancakes, almost to her teeth.” (video)

The Fairfield Daily Voice reports that a college student who was hospitalizated aftter choking in a pancake eating contest at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, CT on Thursday passed away. The University held a vigil yesterday in her memory. update CTPost and TapInto have articles giving the name of the deceased as Caitlin Nelson from Clark, NJ. Her father, James Nelson, was a Port Authority police officer who passed away when the World Trade Center collapsed on September 11, 2001. update #2 The New York Post has an article reporting that Caitlin Nelson’s allergies were not a factor in the incident.

Comments (18)

The Korea Times reports that a college student in Naju City reportedly passed away after passing out following her competing in an eating contest held for freshman orientation.
Bangkok Post reported a competitor in a rice ball eating contest in Hikone, Japan passed away after choking.

Dave Barry on cockroach contest fatality

Humorist Dave Barry has a column for the Wall Street Journal about his home state of Florida which includes the following account of a 2012 bug eating competition:
Read the rest of this entry »

Comments (1) reports that a man named Otange passed away after choking at an eating contest held at a funeral in the Nyang’iela area in Homa Bay County in Keyna. Feasts are commonly held at Kenyan funerals as a way of honoring the deceased.
Courthouse News reports that the family of Debra Harbeck is suing Fire & Ice nightclub in Santa Fe, NM after she choked to death after participating in a corn dog eating contest held on January 27. In the competition, entrants simulated oral sex by eating a corn dog held near the groin area of a another person. Before competing, Debra Harbeck drank at least 7 alcoholic beverages and her blood alcohol level was between .127 and .138. update ABQ Journal also has an article. reports that Fredy Jayadi passed away after choking in an eating contest held at a Kentucky Fried Chicken in Jakarta, Indonesia. The competition was a qualifier for a nationwide contest that would have crowned a champion on June 3. update March 12 The grand prize for the contest was to have been Rp 5 billion ($385,000), by far the largest contest payout I have seen. The contest website (2nd page in English) announces the competition has been terminated.
Jeff "FaFa" Woods passed away after experiencing chest pains while running the first mile of the five mile Krispy Kreme Challenge in Raleigh, NC yesterday. The incident occurred before the midpoint of the race where competitors consume a dozen Krispy Kreme dougnuts. Woods was 58 years old and not a regular runner according to his friends.
Chris "Beefeater" Coyne, billed as a Wing Bowl runner-up in a obituary, passed away at 50 on Monday. I could not find what year he finished second; a 2003 AP article is the only mention I could find of his competitive eating career.
Stephanie Torres' sudden passing in September make Las Crcuces Sun-News 2015 timeline of local news stories.
The Daily Meal asks if it possible to eat yourself to death.
A memorial for Stephanie Torres will be held tomorrow in Las Cruces, NM. The cause of her passing was fainting from low potassium levels. (via Stephanie Wu) update Stephanie Wu reports stories are being collected for a memorial urn. update Oct 4 Link for video streaming will start at 3 Pacific / 4 Mountain / 6 eastern (via Stephanie Wu).
93.3 KFM reports that a 30 year old man died after competing in a doughnut (mandazi) eating contest in the Mubende district of Uganda. update 91.3 Capital FM has more on the fatality.update Feb 15 UGO News reports that the contest organizers are on the run and will be charged with murder if and when they are apprehended.
Tom Balmforth reports that a female victor of a vareniki (dumpling) eating contest in Lviv, Ukraine died on stage while receiving her prize. has an English article about the fatality. update Nov 20 The Express gives the name of the deceased as 53 year old Lyana Koroleva.
New Indian Express reports that a 52 year old man named Kandamuthan passed away after choking in an idli eating contest held in Nellukuthupara, India.
The Custer County News has more about the hot dog eating contest on July 3 where Walter Eagle Tail passed away after choking. He reportedly attempted to eat whole hot dogs and choked on his second frankfurter. First responders were present at the contest site, but could not dislodge the sausage from his throat.

Eating / drinking contest fatalities by country

Updated Nov 20 2014

The Rapid City Journal has an article about Walter Eagle Tail passing away after competing in a hot dog eating contest in Custer, SD on Thursday reporting that paramedics were present at the contest site, but unable to revive the 47 year old. The article has been picked up by the Associated Press.

A list of known fatalities from eating / drinking contests follows: Read the rest of this entry »

Comments (7)

The Custer County Chronicle reports that Walter Eagle Tail passed away after competing in a hot dog eating contest today. Earlier today, Jared Patterson announced that an eating contest competitor in South Dakota needed CPR and an ambulance. update has an article (which says the same thing as the facebook post).
Stroud News & Journal reports that a 56 year old man died after choking in a pickled egg eating contest held at the Boars Head Inn in Berkeley, England.
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