Fresno man dies after competing in taco eating contest at Grizzlies baseball game

Joshua Tehee, Jim Guy, Bryant-Jon Anteola

A man participating in a taco eating contest at the Fresno Grizzlies game has died, according to the Fresno County Coroner’s Office.

Dana Hutchings, 41, died on arrival at Community Regional Medical Center after being rushed there from the downtown baseball park Tuesday night, the Fresno County Coroner’s Office said.

So far, there is no official cause of death. An autopsy is scheduled for Thursday.

“We are devastated to learn that the fan that received medical attention following an event at Tuesday evening’s game has passed away,” Fresno Grizzlies President Derek Franks said in a news release.

“The Fresno Grizzlies extend our heartfelt prayers and condolences to the family of Mr. Hutchings. The safety and security of our fans is our highest priority. We will work closely with local authorities and provide any helpful information that is requested.”

Fans at the game said a man collapsed to the ground in the middle of the taco eating contest, which was being held on “Taco Tuesday” as a prelude to the ninth annual Taco Truck Throwdown scheduled for Saturday, which includes the World Taco Eating Championship.

Emergency medical technicians then attempted the Heimlich maneuver and CPR before paramedics arrived in an ambulance and tried to resuscitate him, according to the fans.

The Grizzlies said the Taco Truck Throwdown will continue as scheduled, but would not comment about whether World Taco Eating Championship will still take place.

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.