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:

Sign Up for E-News


Union County Students to 'March for Our Lives' Saturday in Union

March 19, 2018

UNION, NJ – Students from all over Union County will be walking from Burnet Middle School to Town Hall on Saturday morning, March 24, in an anti-gun violence march.

Led by steering committee chairman Colin Sumner, the march, which has the support of Senator Joseph Cryan, Moms Demand Action, Union County Chapter, and the Union County Freeholders, is not aimed at taking away guns, but ...

'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 7, 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 ...

Upcoming Events

Fri, March 23, 8:00 PM

Burgdorff Center for the Performing Arts, Maplewood

Strollers Present John Patrick Shanley's "Doubt"

Arts & Entertainment

Sat, March 24

Black Diamond Billiard's, Union

Ladies 9-Ball Pro-Am by the Garden State Pool Tour

Other Sports

Sat, March 24, 10:00 AM

Burent Middle School , Union

Union County Wide - March for Our Lives

Government Law & Justice

Celebrate Holy Week at First Congregational Church

March 22, 2018

First Congregational Church invites visitors of all ages to observe Holy Week with special services beginning on Palm Sunday, March 25, and continuing through Easter Sunday on April 1, in the sanctuary at 125 Elmer Street in Westfield.

The Palm Sunday service on March 25 will begin with a traditional Palm Processional. Children are invited to meet in the Chapel Lounge prior to the 10 a.m.