A 29-year-old man from Barry, south Wales, choked to death as he tried to eat a McDonald's cheeseburger in one mouthful, the Cardiff Coroner's Court heard on 4 February. Darren Bray, father of three children, ate the burger at his friend's house after consuming cans of beer in October 2015.
Dr Rhiannon Trefor told the court that Bray died from a blockage to his airway but his drinking, though was over the prescribed limit would not have impaired his judgment. Bray was one-and-a-half times over the legal drink-drive limit, she said.
"When we did an internal examination there was an 8cm by 5cm ball of food stuck at the back of his neck," Trefor said, according to the Guardian. "Darren would not have been able to breathe with that in his airway. Death would have followed quite quickly from a choking of this nature," she said.
The court was told that Bray squashed the burger and put it in his mouth, and immediately after that he started choking.
"He [Bray] picked up the burger and rolled it half and then said 'watch this' before putting the whole burger into his mouth," friend Sam Bisgrove said. "I could see him trying to cough it up and he was making horrible coughing noises. I tried to hit his back to help him clear his airway."
"Sam said he [Bray] was going to McDonald's on his way back and Darren asked him to order him a cheeseburger. Darren took his burger and rolled into a ball then pushed it into his mouth," Sam's girlfriend Amy Bennett said.
When Bray was choking on the burger, paramedics were called who performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) but could not save him. Bray was pronounced dead at the scene.
"I have heard that Darren had many friends and was well liked by many," assistant coroner Christopher Woolley said. Bray's death has been recorded as a conclusion of a misadventure.