DEERFIELD BEACH, Fla. - A man from West Palm Beach died after eating dozens of cockroaches and worms as part of an eating contest, according to the Broward Sheriff's Office.
Edward Archbold, 32, participated in an roach-eating contest at Ben Siegel Reptiles in Deerfield Beach on Friday evening. The winner of the contest won a python.
According to BSO, Archbold, who won the contest, started regurgitating after it was over. He later collapsed in front of the store.
Archbold was then transported to Broward Health North, where he died.
Archbold's sister, Tina, said the family is devastated by his death. She said Archbold lived alone in West Palm Beach and, although he was outgoing and friendly, was also introspective and private.
The family is now planning his funeral.
"That's insanity. I mean, you're talking about a cockroach," said Shane Santa Croce, whose daughter was at the event on Friday. "They were giving away a really expensive snake, so, you know, people do what they have to do, I guess. Not my cup of tea for sure."
"Very saddened by this. I mean, it was a shock," said Ben Siegel, the owner of the store. "Eddie was a very nice guy. We just met him that night, but everybody that works here was very fond of him. He was outgoing, he was the life of the party, and he really made our night more fun."
Siegel said contestants must sign a waiver saying they are sober and don't have allergies to shellfish, which have similar allergens to cockroaches.
Luke Lirot, a lawyer representing Siegel issued a statement, saying in part: Some facts that have come out include the fact that all participants in the contest were entirely aware of what they were doing and that they signed thorough waivers accepting responsibility for their participation in this unique and unorthodox contest. The consumption of insects is widely accepted throughout the world, and the insects presented as part of the contest were taken form an inventory of insects that are safely and domestically raised in a controlled environment as food for reptiles... Mr. Siegel and his staff did all that anyone could to try and help Mr. Archbold, and they send out their deepest sympathy to the family.
None of the other contestants had any medical issues after the contest.
Archbold's body was transported to the Broward Medical Examiner's Office for an autopsy. They are awaiting test results in order to determine a cause of death.
"At this point, I really can't talk about it too much just because we're still waiting to find out exactly what happened. We know Eddie passed away. Very, very sad," said Siegel.
BSO is investigating.
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