Sacred Heart student who choked on pancakes at contest died of asphyxia
HARTFORD — A medical examiner has ruled that a Sacred Heart student who choked on pancakes during an eating contest on campus died of accidental asphyxia.
The New York City chief medical examiner’s office released autopsy results Wednesday for Caitlin Nelson, a 20-year-old from Clark, New Jersey, who attended Sacred Heart University in Fairfield. The official cause of death was “asphyxia due to obstruction of airway by bolus of food.”
Nelson died at a hospital in New York on Sunday, three days after collapsing during a pancake-eating contest. Nursing students and first-responders performed lifesaving measures at the scene, and she was transported to a hospital in critical condition.
Her father, James, was a Port Authority of New York and New Jersey police officer who died on 9/11 when Caitlin was 5.