Colorado Man Dies at 42 After Choking During Doughnut-Eating Challenge

A Colorado man died of asphyxia after he choked during a doughnut-eating challenge at Voodoo Doughnuts in Denver on Sunday, April 2, the Associated Press reports.

Travis Malouff, 42, was trying to eat a half-pound glazed doughnut in 80 seconds when the pastry obstructed his airway. Onlookers told the AP that Malouff took a sip of water after eating for 30 seconds. His face then turned blue and two fellow customers caught him before he collapsed to the ground.

The company sign hangs over the windows of the storefront of Voodoo Doughnuts on East Colfax Avenue in Denver on Tuesday, April 4, 2017.
The company sign hangs over the windows of the storefront of Voodoo Doughnuts on East Colfax Avenue in Denver on Tuesday, April 4, 2017. AP Photo/Thomas Peipert

“Watching somebody participate in an eating contest, it looks like they’re distressed,” eyewitness Julia Edelstein said. “The whole thing looks like a sign of distress. Nobody realized what was happening.”

Paramedics were called, but Malouff died at the scene. The doughnut was reportedly the size of a small cake.

Malouff eerily died on the same day that Caitlin Nelson, a 20-year-old college student, passed away after choking during a pancake-eating contest at Sacred Heart University in Connecticut. The Clark, New Jersey, resident was a junior majoring in social work.

Nelson was 5 years old when her father, James Nelson, a Port Authority officer, was killed in the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in NYC. In 2012, she spoke at the annual televised memorial ceremony at Ground Zero.

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