news 2 days ago

The Latest: Team cancels taco-eating championship

The Associated Press

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — The Latest on the death of man after a taco-eating competition (all times local):

4:40 p.m.

A minor league baseball team in central California has canceled Saturday's scheduled World Taco Eating Championship after the death of a 41-year-old man during a taco-eating contest.

The Fresno Grizzlies announced the cancellation Wednesday. The team said an event featuring taco trucks and musical entertainment will go on as planned.

Dana Hutchings died during an amateur taco eating contest in the third inning Tuesday night.

Mathew Boylan, who watched Tuesday's contest, says he noticed Hutchings because he was eating much faster than the other two contestants. He told the Fresno Bee that Hutchings appeared to be swallowing the tacos without chewing them.

Boylan says Hutchings collapsed about about seven minutes into the contest and hit his face on a table as he fell to the ground.

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4 p.m.

Fresno Grizzlies spokesman Paul Braverman says the team is "devastated to learn" of the death of a fan in a taco-eating contest. He says officials with the minor league baseball team will provide any information that is helpful to investigators.

Fresno sheriff's spokesman Tony Botti says 41-year-old Dana Hutchings, of Fresno, died Tuesday night shortly after arriving at a hospital.

Botti says an autopsy on Hutchings will be done Thursday to determine a cause of death. It was not immediately known how many tacos the man had eaten.

Braverman says Tuesday's eating competition was not related to the taco-eating competition scheduled for Saturday.

During the 2018 Taco Eating Championship in Fresno, professional eater Geoff Esper downed 73 tacos in eight minutes.

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11:30 a.m.

Authorities in central California say a man died shortly after competing in a taco-eating contest at a minor league baseball game in Fresno.

Fresno sheriff's spokesman Tony Botti says 41-year-old Dana Hutchings, of Fresno, died Tuesday night shortly after arriving at a hospital.

Botti says an autopsy on Hutchings will be done Thursday to determine a cause of death.

Fresno Grizzlies spokesman Derek Franks did not immediately respond to an email from The Associated Press seeking comment.

KFSN-TV reports Tuesday night's competition allowed amateurs to qualify for Saturday's World Taco Eating Championship to be held at Fresno's annual Taco Truck Throwdown.

During the 2018 Taco Eating Championship in Fresno, professional eater Geoff Esper downed 73 tacos in eight minutes.