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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Man Dies At South Dakota Hot Dog Eating Contest

Competitive eating contests have become a summer tradition. Pictured is a hot dog eating contest in California, 2010. (Space Pirate Queen/Flickr)

Competitive eating contests have become a summer tradition. Pictured is a hot dog eating contest in California, 2010. (Space Pirate Queen/Flickr)

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.

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.

Here & Now’s Robin Young speaks with Kate Najacht, a reporter for the Custer County Chronicle, about the incident.

The Associated Press contributed reporting to this article.

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