South Dakota Man Chokes To Death During Hot Dog Eating Contest
On the Fourth of July weekend, a South Dakota man choked to death during a hot dog eating contest. The crowd at Way Park in Custer, just across from the county courthouse, was stunned Thursday afternoon when one of six contestants — Walter Eagle Tail, 47 — began to choke while trying to win the contest, the Rapid City Journal reports.
Paramedics tried to save him. Eagle Tail was transported by ambulance to a local hospital, where he died, authorities said.
“There was someone doing CPR when we arrived,” Custer County Sheriff Rick Wheeler said on Monday. “Basically, he probably just suffocated. It got lodged in his throat and they couldn’t get it out.”
“It all happened within minutes,” he added. “I think everybody was pretty well shocked about it.”
According to the Journal, Eagle Tail’s death put an end to some of the festivities sponsored by the Custer Chamber of Commerce. Organizers cancelled a planned pie eating contest for the next day.
“Walter was just being Walter, having fun when he entered this contest,” Ardis McRae said. “He was just having a good time.”
Custer Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Dave Ressler said Eagle Tail’s death was the first time in memory anyone had gotten hurt during the few years the local contest has been held.
“We are at a loss for words,” he said. “We are mourning for Walter and his family right now.”
H/T: Agnostic Tech-God @ComgenKDT with thanks.