Roach-Contest Winner Choked to Death

Edward Archbold, 32, couldn't stop vomiting

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff

Posted Nov 26, 2012 4:40 PM CST

(Newser) – Hope you're not in the middle of eating: The Florida man who died after winning a roach-eating contest suffocated partly on little bug bodies, CBS Miami reports. Edward Archbold, 32, died from choking and vomiting due to "airway obstruction by the arthropod body parts," according to his autopsy. His October 6 death moments after the contest at a reptile store in Deerfield Beach, Fla., was ruled an accident. He won a python in the competition.

Archbold "was literally taking roaches by the handful," says witness Olivia Murphy. "He wanted the snake bad." But after the contest, Archbold began vomiting uncontrollably. "I just saw bugs all over his face, stuff like drooling down his face, and I was kind of throwing up a little bit myself just from like seeing that," says Murphy. An attorney for the store's owner says all contestants had signed a waiver, and the bugs they ate were "safely and domestically raised in a controlled environment as food for reptiles."

Edward Archbold competes in a roach-eating contest at Ben Siegel Reptile Store in Deerfield Beach, Fla.
Edward Archbold competes in a roach-eating contest at Ben Siegel Reptile Store in Deerfield Beach, Fla.   (AP Photo/Courtesy Sarah Bernard)
Edward Archbold competes in a roach-eating contest at Ben Siegel Reptile Store in Deerfield Beach, Fla.
Edward Archbold competes in a roach-eating contest at Ben Siegel Reptile Store in Deerfield Beach, Fla.   (AP Photo/Courtesy John-Patrick McNown)
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