The Fourth of July is a time to celebrate America’s freedom, watch fireworks light up the sky and party. Believe it or not, some people take the holiday sometimes too seriously instead of just sitting back and relaxing the weekend.
The holiday turned to a tragedy for a Custer man who choked to death while eating hot dogs too fast in a contest.
The crowd was cheering on all the participants but everyone was quickly silenced when Walter Eagle Tail began to choke while trying to win the contest.
Paramedics quickly rushed to the scene to try to save Tail. Tail was transported by ambulance to Custer Regional Hospital, where he died, authorities said.
“There was someone doing CPR when we arrived,” Custer County Sheriff Rick Wheeler said on Monday. “Basically, he probably just suffocated. It got lodged in his throat and they couldn’t get it out.”
“It all happened within minutes,” he added. “I think everybody was pretty well shocked about it.”
Tail’s death put a stop to the festivities sponsored by the Custer Chamber of Commerce. Organizers canceled a pie eating contest that was scheduled for the next day.