Man dies at South Dakota hot dog eating contest - FOX 10 News | fox10phoenix.com

Man dies at South Dakota hot dog eating contest

Posted: Updated:
Courtesy photo, Rapid City Journal Courtesy photo, Rapid City Journal
CUSTER, S.D. (AP) -- A Fourth of July hot dog eating contest in western South Dakota turned tragic when a contestant choked to death.
 
Walter Eagle Tail, 47, of Custer, died at a hospital Thursday after attempts to save him at the scene failed, Custer County Sheriff Rick Wheeler told the Rapid City Journal (http://bit.ly/1n3EKRD ).
 
"There was someone doing CPR when we arrived," Wheeler said. "He probably just suffocated. It got lodged in his throat and they (paramedics) couldn't get it out.
 
"It all happened within minutes," the sheriff said.
 
The Custer Chamber of Commerce, which sponsored the contest, canceled a pie-eating contest scheduled for Friday.
 
"We are at a loss for words," Chamber Executive Director Dave Ressler said. "We are mourning for Walter and his family right now."
 
Speed-eating competitions are popular over the Fourth of July weekend. Eight-time champion Joey "Jaws" Chestnut managed to eat 61 hot dogs in 10 minutes at an annual contest in Coney Island, New York, on Friday -- eight short of the record 69 he swallowed in the 2013 competition.
 
George Shea, chairman of Major League Eating, a competitive eating organization based in New York, said organizers do all they can to prevent casualties during contests, though his group had nothing to do with the South Dakota event.
 
"We always make sure it's in a controlled environment," Shea said. "We organize the entire thing around safety. (Just as) if it's football or hockey or auto racing, we approach it as a top priority."
 
Funeral arrangements were pending for Eagle Tail, whom friends described as a fun-loving, kind and caring man.
 
"Walter was just being Walter, having fun when he entered this contest," said Ardis McRae. "He was just having a good time."
   ------
Information from: Rapid City Journal, http://www.rapidcityjournal.com

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • WATCH: Fox 2's Rich Luterman take the Ice Bucket Challenge

    WATCH: Fox 2's Rich Luterman take the Ice Bucket Challenge

    Monday, September 1 2014 4:58 PM EDT2014-09-01 20:58:51 GMT
    Fox 2 Weather Authority Rich Luterman took the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, after receiving challenges by a couple friends, including Monica Gayle.Watch Rich take the challenge with the assistance of his children and see who he issues the challenge to.
    Fox 2 Weather Authority Rich Luterman took the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, after receiving challenges by a couple friends, including Monica Gayle.Watch Rich take the challenge with the assistance of his children and see who he issues the challenge to.
  • VP Joe Biden speaks in Detroit on Labor Day

    VP Joe Biden speaks in Detroit on Labor Day

    Monday, September 1 2014 1:18 PM EDT2014-09-01 17:18:46 GMT
    This is the second time vice president Joe Biden has been in Detroit on Labor Day in the past three years.
    This is the second time vice president Joe Biden has been in Detroit on Labor Day in the past three years.
  • RECALL: Kraft American Singles Cheese Slices

    RECALL: Kraft American Singles Cheese Slices

    Monday, September 1 2014 8:05 AM EDT2014-09-01 12:05:15 GMT
    Kraft voluntarily recalled 7,691 cases of its American Singles cheese product Friday because an ingredient was stored improperly by a supplier.
    Kraft voluntarily recalled 7,691 cases of its American Singles cheese product Friday because an ingredient was stored improperly by a supplier.
  • Download the FOX 2 Apps


  • FOX 2 News Five-Day Forecast
Powered by WorldNow

KSAZ-TV & KUTP
511 W. Adams St.
Phoenix, AZ 85003

Phone: (602) 257-1234
Fax: (602) 262-0177

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices