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Man died from choking during taco eating contest, coroner says. Full report to come

The Fresno County Coroner’s Office has determined that Dana Hutchings died of choking during a taco eating contest at the Fresno Grizzlies baseball game.

The determination is based on preliminary findings from an autopsy conducted Thursday, according to Tony Botti, the spokesperson for the coroner’s office.

A full report, including toxicology and a review of medical history, is expected to be completed in about a month.

Hutchings, 41, collapsed several minutes into the eating contest Tuesday night and was rushed from Chukchansi Park to Community Regional Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

Fans at the game said emergency medical technicians attended to Hutchings and administered the Heimlich maneuver and CPR before paramedics arrived in an ambulance.

The death lead to the cancellation of the annual World Taco Eating Championship, which was scheduled for Saturday. The Taco Truck Throwdown will otherwise continue as planned.

Hutchings’ family has created fundraising page on Facebook to raise money for funeral expenses.

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Joshua Tehee covers breaking news for The Fresno Bee, with a focus on entertainment and a heavy emphasis on the Central Valley music scene. You can see him share the area’s top entertainment options Friday mornings on KMPH’s “Great Day” and read more of his work here.
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