A 41-year-old California man died this past Tuesday after overdoing it at a taco-eating contest.


According to reports, Dana Hutchings of Fresno was taking part in a taco-eating competition at a minor league baseball game.


It is not clear how many tacos he ate, but his unfortunate passing and the delicious tacos seem to be at least somewhat linked. What’s more, and because this was his last deed, did he win? (the competition, not the Darwin awards…)


At first, the Sheriff’s department edged on the side of caution and claimed: “we are not ruling a cause of death yet, but we have an idea”. Either they have an exquisite sense of irony or they must have Sherlock on the case.


The autopsy has since confirmed the cause of death was choking, which may have had something to do with the fact that he chose not to use his teeth. “it was like he’d never eaten before. He was just shoving the tacos down his mouth without chewing” So claims witness Matthew Boylan. 


Another witness, Eric Schmidt, claims Hutchings had diabetes, had a couple of beers before the contest and hadn’t eaten all day to save himself for the competition. Not a strategy for longevity, but on the plus side, he was in the lead – apparently. 


The minor league team, the Fresno Grizzlies, put out a statement saying they were “devastated” about Hutching’s death and said they would provide any information or help they could to the authorities to help figure out exactly what happened. 


No word on whether tacos would be provided to hardworking cops on the case. Then again, perhaps they’d decline on this occasion. 


The competition that took Hutchings’ life was the prelude to an even bigger event this Saturday: the World Taco Eating Championship as part of Fresno’s yearly “Taco Truck Throwdown.” I think we’ve just figured out why Fresno ends with no.


The Taco Truck Throwdown has been cancelled as a result of Hutchings’ death, likely dashing the dreams of many young taco-preneurs. In 2018 taco champion Geoffrey Esper ate 73 tacos in 8 minutes for the big win at Fresno’s Taco Championship.


Perhaps it’s time to start putting more regulations on food contests or at least large signs that say “Chew”. 


Although, there could be a forgotten amendment along the lines of “the right to bear tacos” or “the right to eat yourself to death”. That might to get a few hearts racing because eating 73 tacos 8 minutes – is what makes America great. 


Let’s just hope those hearts won’t race too vigorously. 

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