Union County News

Clark Woman, 20, Dies Following Campus Pancake Eating Contest

Credits: Facebook
Credits: Facebook
Caitlin Nelson, 20, of Clark, died on Sunday. She choked during a pancake-eating contest on the Sacred Heart University campus in Fairfield Connecticut on Thursday. Credits: Susan R. Bonnell
Credits: Susan R. Bonnell

FAIRFIELD, Conn. – Caitlin Nelson, 20, of Clark was confirmed dead several days after choking during a pancake-eating contest held Thursday night on the campus of Sacred Heart University.

Witnesses at a Greek Life dinner saw Nelson eat four or five pancakes before falling to the floor, shaking uncontrollably, according to a story in the Fairfield Citizen.

Fairfield police said Nelson spit out some pieces of food, but was choking. Officers who responded to the scene were unsuccessful in clearing her airway, Lt. Bob Kalamaras of the Fairfield Police Department said. 

Sign Up for E-News

Although Nelson had several food allergies, Kalamaras said it was determined they were not a contributing factor.   

"It was a tragic accident," Kalamaras said.  Nelson died on Sunday, according to Kalamaras. 

Nelson is the daughter of Roseanne Nelson and the late James Nelson of Clark. James Nelson was a Port Authority police officer, and only Clark resident, who died in the 9/11 terror attacks on the World Trade Center in New York.

Caitlin Nelson, who was 5 years old when her father died, attended the Clark Township annual 9/11 memorial service.  She was active with “America’s Camp,” a retreat for children who lost a parent in the attacks. This past September, Caitlin spoke of working with survivors of the Sandy Hook School shooting.

“It’s about positive change,” Caitlin Nelson said. “It’s about healing and helping. It’s about paying it forward.”

Caitlin Nelson was a 2014 graduate of the Arthur L. Johnson High School. 


TAPintoClark.net  is Clark’s official electronic news source and the only free daily paper. 

Sign up for our free daily enews.


TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Springfield Fire Department Delivers Baby on West I-78

March 21, 2018

SPRINGFIELD, NJ - On March 20, 2018 at 8:14 a.m. the Springfield Fire Department was dispatched to Route 78 Westbound near milepost 50.2 for a report of a woman in labor on the side of the road.  

Captain Mastroeni (Unit 2) & Chief Palumbo (Unit 1) were the first units to arrive on scene, and quickly recognized that the woman would be unable to make it to the hospital in time for ...

Holy Week Services at Trinity Cranford March 25th– April 1st, 2018

March 21, 2018

Trinity Episcopal Church, 119 Forest Avenue Cranford, NJ, invites everyone to come celebrate the Holy Week services at Trinity Cranford from March 25 to April 1st.  Join us to feel the Grace of God throughout this exceptional week beginning with Jesus’ triumphant entrance into Jerusalem on Palm/Passion Sunday, the contemplative Taize service on Monday, see the origins of the Eucharist ...

Cranford Police Blotter: DWI Arrest & More

March 20, 2018

The information provided does not represent the total scope of police activity.  Individuals charged as a result of police investigations are merely an accusation.  All defendants should be presumed innocent until proven guilty.  


1.  03/14/2018 11:32 a.m. 

North Avenue East at Elizabeth Avenue

Arrested:  Shannen Garbiras, 19, Roselle ...

Upcoming Events

Wed, March 21, 7:00 PM

The Cranford Hotel (hosted by Calvary Lutheran Church), Cranford

Beer & Bible

Religions And Spirituality

Fri, March 23, 7:30 PM

Cranford High School Auditorium, Cranford

Save the Date -March 23rd - Cranford High School ...

Arts & Entertainment Education Other

Fri, March 23, 7:30 PM

Cranford High School Auditorium, Cranford

Cranford High School Senior Fashion Show Friday, ...

Arts & Entertainment Education Other

'Trying' explores age, youth and points of history in poignant production

‘Trying’ explores youth, age and points of history in poignant production

By Liz Keill

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – The George Street Playhouse presents an engrossing, two-character play based on the real life of Francis Biddle, former Attorney General.

Biddle, a Harvard educated lawyer, served under Franklin Roosevelt and later Harry Truman during the Nuremberg Tribunal. His ...

Proud to support Tom Malinowski for Congress

March 8, 2018

Every single day, whether I want to be or not, I am reminded how important it is that Democrats gain control of the House of Representatives in November and check Donald Trump. Fortunately, there is a terrific candidate in New Jersey's 7th Congressional District who can beat incumbent Leonard Lance. That candidate is Tom Malinowski.

I'm a lifelong New Jersey resident -- including ...