A 42-year-old Colorado man choked to death early Sunday during a bakery’s eating challenge after he attempted to eat a half-pound doughnut in 80 seconds or less.
Travis Malouff was pronounced dead at the scene, according to The Denver Post. The newspaper reported that the Denver Office of the Medical Examiner cited asphyxia as Malouff’s cause of death, due to obstruction of the airway.
The Denver Fire Department told The Denver Post it responded to Voodoo Doughnut at 1:10 a.m.
The bakery’s eating contest challenged participants to eat a doughnut the “size of a small cake,” a witness, Julia Edelstein, told ABC News.
Winners get the doughnut for free and a button commemorating their victory. Voodoo Doughnuts suspended their eating challenge after Malouff’s death, according to The Denver Post.
“Our hearts go out to the Malouff family during this very difficult time,” the restaurant said in a statement Tuesday. “We have suspended the eating challenge in all our locations. While this matter is under investigation, we believe it would be inappropriate to comment further.”
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Malouff’s father, Curtis, spoke to 9NEWS after his son’s death, describing him as an “energetic and open-minded person” with an infectious laugh.
“It’s tragic,” Curtis said. “It’s a loss of life that shouldn’t be.”
He is survived by his parents and his brother Ferris.