A 42-year-old Colorado man is attempting to complete a donut eating challenge died on Sunday after choking on a giant cake. Witnesses said Travis Malouff, Denver, was the participation in Voodoo-Donut-s 80-second half-pound donut challenge to his death, KUSA-TV reported.
“It is tragic,” Curtis Malouff, Travis’ father, told KUSA-TV. “It is a loss of a life that shouldn’t be.”
Witnesses told the news outlet that the people in the store at the time tried to help, Malouff when she realized that he was choking, but no one knew how to properly perform the Heimlich maneuver.
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“She tried so hard to do everything,” an unidentified witness told KUSA-TV. “It was clear that no one was trained and they were just reacting. You [have to] do something, I think.”
The ambulance came but were not able to revive Malouff, who has died by asphyxia due to obstruction of the airways, the Denver Office of the Medical Examiner announced on Monday.
Malouff the death occurred on the same day that a 20-year-old student in Connecticut is dead after participating in a pancake eating contest. Caitlin Nelson, of Clark, New Jersey, was eating four or five pancakes during a March 30, challenge for the collapse of the floor. She was rushed to a nearby hospital before being transferred to the New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center, where she later died.
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“It is a tragic event that began as something fun,” Fairfield police Lt. Bob Kalamaras said of Nelson’s death. “It was just a tragic accident.
Voodoo Doughnuts said in a statement that the company is saddened by Malouff death and the cooperation with the researchers, KUSA-TV reported.
“It is too much food for one person, even if the size that he was,” Julia Edelstein, a witness, told the news outlet. “That’s too much for someone to eat. He tried to force it off.”
Curtis Malouff said that his son will be remembered for his smile and laugh, and his willingness to try anything.
“If there is a challenge there is — he probably would,” he said, according to KUSA-TV.