Radio Hosts Fired After Contest Death
Jan. 16 - KGO (KGO) -- A popular Sacramento morning radio show has been taken off the air after a promotional stunt went terribly wrong. A mother of three died after drinking too much water.
Three hosts of "The Morning Rave" show and seven other people were fired by the radio station known as "The End" because of the contest which was called "Hold Your Wee for a Wii." The Wii is the Nintendo gaming console. The contestants had to see how much water they could drink and not go to the bathroom. For one woman, water was deadly.
They were drinking massive amounts of water in a short time. Twenty-eight-year-old Jennifer Lea Strange struggled to swallow nearly two gallons of water in three hours. She came in second. Lucy Davidson won the contest.
Lucy Davidson, Contest Winner: "You know, after it was over we both went into the bathroom and we were both sick. She's throwing up, I'm throwing up, I mean, we just had too much."
So Jennifer Strange called work and went home sick. That's where her mother found the body. The coroner says she died of water intoxication.
Dr. Jonathan Kei, M.D., UC Davis Medical Center: "When people drink too much water they dilute out the electrolytes that are in their blood. You can get first confusion, a little lethargy, but then eventually you can start having seizures and you can actually have a coma and die."
The Sacramento County Sheriff's Department is not conducting a criminal investigation. But some callers to the station warned the DJs about the danger of too much water.
Timothy O'Connor, Personal Injury Lawyer: "Nobody drinks a glass of water and think this can kill me. So if you say in a waiver, 'If you die from this activity you cannot sue us,' that waiver is meaningless."
The radio station, KDND, known as "The End" has suspended the morning DJs and taken the show called "The Morning Rave" off the air. It used to be all over their Web site. Today there is nothing. Even the web cam is down. Station management has extended sympathy to the Strange family.
This has happened before. In 2005, 21-year-old Matthew Carrington of Pleasant Hill died after drinking nearly five gallons of water during a hazing incident at Chico State University
Lucy Davidson: "It's so horrible because you don't think water is going to kill you."
The contestants voluntarily participated in this, so the D.A. says there was nothing criminal.
We all know that water is necessary for life, but this is a reminder for all of us that even runners who take in too much at once can experience the same reaction.
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