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Hot dog-eating contestant dies at speed-eating event in South Dakota

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A South Dakota hot dog-eating contest resulted in the death of Walter Eagle Tail. The 47-year-old man from Custer, South Dakota died after choking to death, according to ABC News on Tuesday. Rick Wheeler, the Custer County sheriff, said that all attempts to save the man at the scene of the unfortunate occurrence on the Fourth of July failed to help save the man’s life.

According to Wheeler, there was someone doing CPR on Tail when authorities arrived on the scene. He assumes that the man just suffocated. The food – hot dogs – lodged in Tail’s throat and paramedics and the other person who assisted could not get the food out to clear his breathing passage. The entire gruesome incident occurred within just minutes, according to Wheeler’s account.

The Custer Chamber of Commerce sponsored the hot dog-eating contest. There was to be a pie-eating contest held on Friday. Due to the death of Tail in the hot dog event, the pie-eating event was cancelled, according to Newsday.

The Custer Chamber of Commerce’s executive director, Dave Ressler, was at a loss for words, so he said. He said that those involved with the contest are mourning for Tail and his family. They just don’t know what to make of it all.

Distancing itself from the occurrence, George Shea – the chairman of Major League Eating, a competitive eating organization in New York City – said that his group had nothing to do with the hot dog-eating contest which resulted in tragedy. He said that organizers of such events do all that they can to prevent such an occurrence. He claims measures are taken to avoid casualties such as this.

These types of contests, speed-eating competitions, have been popular for many years in the United States. The events are very popular at Independence Day fests over the holiday weekend every summer. On a more positive note, Joey “Jaws” Chestnut – an 8-time champion – ate 61 hot dogs in 10 minutes in Coney Island in New York on Friday. The record for that competition was 69 hot dogs consumed in 2013.

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