Man dies at South Dakota hot dog eating contest - Fox 2 News Headlines

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>>

  • General Motors profit declines 85% in 2Q

    General Motors profit declines 85% in 2Q

    Thursday, July 24 2014 7:43 AM EDT2014-07-24 11:43:10 GMT
     General Motors says second-quarter profit fell 85 percent as recall costs chopped $1.5 billion from the bottom line.
     General Motors says second-quarter profit fell 85 percent as recall costs chopped $1.5 billion from the bottom line.
  • Porch shooter: I didn't know gun was loaded

    Porch shooter: I didn't know gun was loaded

    Thursday, July 24 2014 12:48 PM EDT2014-07-24 16:48:56 GMT
    A suburban Detroit man who killed an unarmed woman on his porch immediately suggested to police it was an accident and that he didn't know his shotgun was loaded, according to recorded remarks played in court Thursday.
    A suburban Detroit man who killed an unarmed woman on his porch immediately suggested to police it was an accident and that he didn't know his shotgun was loaded, according to recorded remarks played in court Thursday.
  • Rehabilitation grants available for auction homes

    Rehabilitation grants available for auction homes

    Thursday, July 24 2014 12:45 PM EDT2014-07-24 16:45:20 GMT
    Homes eligible for $25,000 in forgivable rehabilitation grants are going on sale in a west side Detroit neighborhood. An online auction by the city's Land Bank Authority begins Thursday for eight houses in the Marygrove area.
    Homes eligible for $25,000 in forgivable rehabilitation grants are going on sale in a west side Detroit neighborhood. An online auction by the city's Land Bank Authority begins Thursday for eight houses in the Marygrove area.
  • Download the FOX 2 Apps


  • FOX 2 News Five-Day Forecast
  • What's HotMore>>

  • Police: Pair taped having sex on Bradenton Beach

    Police: Pair taped having sex on Bradenton Beach

    Monday, July 21 2014 11:22 PM EDT2014-07-22 03:22:58 GMT
    Police arrested a couple accused of having sex in front of dozens Sunday afternoon on Bradenton beach, and it was all caught on tape.
    Police arrested a couple accused of having sex in front of dozens Sunday afternoon on Bradenton beach, and it was all caught on tape.
  • To Heaven and Back: Boy Dies Three Times Following Car Accident

    To Heaven and Back: Boy Dies Three Times Following Car Accident

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 8:09 PM EDT2014-07-23 00:09:09 GMT
    Landon Whitley lost his father in a car accident, but he, too, was pronounced dead at the scene. He says he went to heaven -- and returned three times.
    Landon Whitley lost his father in a car accident, but he, too, was pronounced dead at the scene. He says he went to heaven -- and returned three times.
  • Fifty Shades of Grey trailer is finally out

    Fifty Shades of Grey trailer is finally out

    Thursday, July 24 2014 9:53 AM EDT2014-07-24 13:53:18 GMT
    Finally, it's our first look at the movie version of the best-selling erotic novel, "Fifty Shades of Grey."
    Finally, it's our first look at the movie version of the best-selling erotic novel, "Fifty Shades of Grey."
Powered by WorldNow

WJBK-TV | Fox 2
16550 West Nine Mile Rd.
Southfield, MI 48075

Main Station: (248) 557-2000
Newsroom: (248) 552-5103

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