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Woman dies over a Wii

FishFanInPA

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A radio station fired 10 employees, including its three morning disc jockeys, after a woman died following an on-air water-drinking contest last week.
The hosts of KDND-FM's "Morning Rave" were fired Tuesday, a day after the station said it was suspending the show and investigating the death of Jennifer Lea Strange.
Strange, 28, was one of about 18 contestants who tried to win a Nintendo Wii gaming console by seeing how much water they could drink without going to the bathroom. The show's DJs called the contest "Hold your Wee for a Wii."
 

Buckeye

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I don't see a problem with it.

Don't be an idiot.
 

FutureGM

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I doubt you can hold the radio guys responsible for someone's death...
 

Big_Rob

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I wonder if she was in the lead when she went down... :mischief2
 

OldSand

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Of course its their fault. They shouldn't sponsor events that could lead to one's death, no matter how idiotic that person actually is for taking part in them. Even if she had some kind of disorder, they need to have disclaimers.
 

Mabdul Doobakus

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I think the show is responisble for not realizing the risks of this contest. A simple google search would have led them to this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_intoxication

Which lists at least a few cases where people have died from drinking too much water too fast.

The woman's at fault, too, but the show's employees can certainly share in that blame.
 

JetsMania

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The radio station just had the contest, she could have stopped at anytime. There wasnt a gun to her head that said keep drinking. I dont think anyone involved knew this would happen.
 

Hotcorner

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I've read of the same thing happening in college frat hazing. Since they're cracking down on alcohol+hazing, they'll use water instead & see how long you can hold out or whatever.

I heard also that a woman (I think she said she was a nurse) called the station during the contest & told them they needed to stop, that someone could get killed. Not only did they not pay her any attention, they put the call on the air & almost laughed at the caller.
 

TSwift25

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Devil is in the details.

If proper warnings were not made prior to the contest, it's absolutely the radio show's fault.

If proper warnings were made and ignored by the contestants, then it's a little tougher call, as in did the contest directly cause the death, or did the woman's own relucance to use the restroom play a role.
 

Buckeye

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Devil is in the details.

If proper warnings were not made prior to the contest, it's absolutely the radio show's fault.

If proper warnings were made and ignored by the contestants, then it's a little tougher call, as in did the contest directly cause the death, or did the woman's own relucance to use the restroom play a role.

See, this is such a dangerous and anti-American stance (meaning it's American as can be in this ridiculous-litigious age we live in) it's not even funny.

She has the freedom and the will to stop drinking. How did the radio station make her do anything? How are they at fault when she's the idiot who could have stopped? I don't think warnings should be made before every single activity. Drinking and not driving, fine, a warning. But, if the radio station told the people to drive somewhere and pick up the tickets and that woman just HAPPENS to drive off the cliff, that's like holding the radio station accountable for telling her to get in a car.

This is evolution, sorry. One less moron. That's my stance.
 

Mabdul Doobakus

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I don't think a lot of people know you can kill yourself just by drinking water. She didn't stop because she wanted to win the Wii, and she probably assumed, like most people would, that no radio station is going to jeopardize the lives of their listeners for some silly contest.

I don't see how you can completely clear the radio station of blame for holding a contest with the potential to kill people.

Even if she were warned ahead of time, the radio station is still partly at fault. Whether they are legally at risk is one matter. But ethically, I don't see how you can completely clear them.

Mom's last hours recalled
Other contestants in radio contest say woman drank over half a gallon of water.
By Christina Jewett - Bee Staff Writer
Published 12:00 am PST Monday, January 15, 2007
Contestants in a radio stunt called "Hold Your Wee for a Wii" revealed new details Sunday about an on-air water drinking contest that left a 28-year-old mother of three dead.

Jennifer Lea Strange died after drinking well over a half gallon of water Friday during the "Morning Rave" program on The End (KDND, 107.9 FM). About 18 contestants vied for a Nintendo Wii gaming console by drinking as much water as they could without going to the bathroom; Strange took second place.

James Ybarra, a Woodland man who gave up after drinking eight 8-fluid-ounce bottles of water, or half a gallon, said that Strange kept going.

Most contestants were hoping to get the console for their children, he said. Strange showed contestants photos of her two sons and daughter.

"It is sad that a mother had to lose her life to get something for her kids," he said. "None of us knew this could be a risk to our health."

The Sacramento County Coroner's Office said Saturday that Strange died of apparent water intoxication. A preliminary investigation didn't reveal any "life threatening medical conditions to explain her sudden death."

John Geary, general manager of Entercom Sacramento, which owns KDND, did not return messages left Sunday on his cellular and home phones. In an e-mail message to The Bee, he said:

"We were stunned when we heard this news. We are awaiting information that will help explain how this tragic event occurred. Our sympathies are with the family and friends of Jennifer Strange, as they deal with circumstances that are so difficult to comprehend."

Strange's husband, William Strange, 27, said late Sunday he was not ready to discuss his wife's death publicly. He released a photo of his young family, and a brief written statement describing his wife's generous and optimistic nature, and her devotion to her family.

"Friday, Jennifer was just her bright, usual self," he wrote. "She was trying to win something for her family that she thought we would enjoy. ... We miss her dearly. She was my girl."

The death touched a nerve throughout Sacramento and was publicized in news outlets from as far away as Toronto, London and Sydney, Australia.

Locally, The Bee's Sunday story drew numerous comments from readers. Some said it is common knowledge that downing water in such quantities is dangerous and that the contestants were responsible for engaging in such risky behavior. Others blasted the station for recklessly endangering people's lives.

Gina Sherrod, who competed with Strange in the contest, said her family listened to the radio show, and told her that a nurse was on air warning that drinking too much water is dangerous. Sherrod said a DJ rebuffed the nurse, saying the contestants signed waivers. Sherrod said the waivers addressed only publicity issues and made no mention of health or safety concerns.

Sherrod said she had no idea what risk she had taken until she saw news of Strange's death.

"I was so scared," she said. "I had the hardest time going to sleep last night because I was afraid I wouldn't get up."

Sherrod sat near Strange during the contest, which began shortly after 6 a.m. Friday in a break room at the radio station's offices on Madison Avenue.

Contestants had qualified by recounting the worst Christmas gifts they'd received.

Strange told Sherrod her worst gift was a set of flower-shaped champagne flutes wrapped like roses that shattered when she opened them.

Participants were each given 8-fluid-ounce bottles of water. They had two minutes to drink a bottle, waited 10 minutes, then drank another bottle.

The women chatted. Strange told Sherrod she and friends had sixth-row tickets to Friday night's Justin Timberlake concert at Arco Arena.

Sherrod said the contest room was quiet at first, but morning disc jockeys Trish, Maney and Lukas and radio personalities Carter and Fester came in and out of the room, pumping up the participants.

"We did it like we were drinking shots," Sherrod said. "Instead of saying 'cheers' we would say 'Wii' and then shoot it."

Ybarra, the Woodland man, said Fester went outside and sprayed the window with water and turned on a faucet to tempt contestants to use the bathroom.

"As time went by, it got harder to drink those small bottles," Ybarra said.

After contestants drank eight of the 8-fluid-ounce bottles of water, radio staff gave them larger bottles to drink, Ybarra said. That's when he left.

Sherrod drank half of a larger bottle before she ran out of the room and vomited.

"I felt drunk and really out of it," she said.

Sherrod left then. Strange was still a contestant.

"I spent the last hours with that poor woman. I couldn't believe it," Sherrod said.

After the contest, Strange had planned to go to work. She called a co-worker at Radiological Associates, crying. She had a headache and nausea and had to go home, said co-worker Angela Krause. Another employee tried unsuccessfully to reach Strange. She asked Strange's mother to check on her at her Rancho Cordova home. Strange's mother found her daughter dead.

The coroner's office said the final cause of death is not expected for several months.

Water intoxication -- or hyponatremia -- occurs when sodium levels in blood dip too low.

Two years ago a 21-year-old fraternity pledge at California State University, Chico, died after a night of hazing during which he drank excessive amounts of water. Four members of the fraternity later pleaded guilty to charges including involuntary manslaughter.

Sacramento Sheriff's spokesman Sgt. Tim Curran said Sunday that no investigation had been started on the case.

Friday's water drinking contest was not the first in the radio industry. Dave Gross, 46, a landscaper from Victorville in Southern California, said Strange's death brought back bad memories. He won a pool table, bar and bar stools last summer after winning a water drinking contest staged by a local radio station. He became violently ill afterward and wound up in an emergency room.

"When I heard about the woman in Sacramento, it sent a chill over me," Gross said Sunday. "This woman lost her life over a Wii. I could have lost mine over a pool table."

I just think it's wrong to view this as a case of some dumb woman doing dumb things, or as a benefit to the evolution of mankind.

This was a mom, with 3 kids, who was trying to win them a nice gift. It's pretty clear that she and the other contestants had no idea what they were getting into. It's also clear that the radio station ignored warnings given to them during the contest and continued to endager the contestants' lives STILL without letting them know what their risks were.
 

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Caller Warned DJs Of Water Intoxication Death
Woman Died Despite Listener Warning On Danger Of Chugging Too Much Water

(CBS) SACRAMENTO, Calif. It appears the DJs involved in a fatal radio contest in Sacramento were well aware of the risks of drinking too much water during a contest in which listeners drank large amounts of water. A mother of three died after the contest on the radio station's morning show.

KOVR-TV obtained a recording of the contest as it aired on 107.9 The End last Friday. KOVR's Steve Large listened to the four-hour recording and reported on what went on.

"Can't you get water poisoning and like die?" Those words spoken by a 107.9 DJ before the water drinking contest even started. The question was dismissed.

Now, 28-year-old Jennifer Strange is dead. The runner up in the contest died of water intoxication hours after it ended.

Donnie Logsdon was one of 18 people in the water drinking contest to win a Nintendo Wii game cosole. Now he's hearing the contest as it went over the air for the first time. "Shocked...I feel sick right now," Logsdon told KOVR after listening to the show.

During the contest, a listener -- self-identified as a nurse -- called the live radio broadcast and warned that the game was dangerous.

"I want to say that those people drinking all that water can get sick and die from water intoxication," said the caller.

"Yeah, we're aware of that," replied a DJ. "They signed releases so we're not responsible, okay?"

Logsdon tells KOVR-TV news that they didn't hear that on-air warning in the room where he and the others were filling up way beyond comfort.

"Maybe she would have walked away," says Logsdon. "But we didn't hear that inside there."

Strange was second to last to stop drinking, and when she bowed out, she did say on the air that she was not feeling well.

"My head hurts. They keep telling me that it's the water ... that it will tell my head to hurt and it'll make me puke." Strange told the DJ, live on the air, before leaving the station. "Who told you that, the intern?" was the DJ's response.

John Geary, vice president and general manager of KDND parent company, Entercom/Sacramento, announced in an e-mail to reporters Tuesday that the staff involved had been fired: "Effective immediately, the 'Morning Rave' program is canceled and 10 employees are no longer with the station."

A company spokesman, Charles Sipkins, confirmed that the three DJs, as well as two other on-air personalities, "Carter" and "Fester," are among those fired. Five other employees who worked on the "Morning Rave" also were let go. All 10 were fired, the spokesman said, for violating terms of their employee agreements.

How they could have not warned the contestants of the dangers and risks involved is beyond me.
 

MarlinFan10

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The radio station certainly could've warned death was possible from this contest if they wanted to have it. I doubt any of the contestants really knew the risk involved. They just wanted a Wii, and I don't blame them.
 

Ashley

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The radio station certainly could've warned death was possible from this contest if they wanted to have it. I doubt any of the contestants really knew the risk involved. They just wanted a Wii, and I don't blame them.
The radio station probably didn't know either.

They did.
 

MarlinFan10

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The radio station certainly could've warned death was possible from this contest if they wanted to have it. I doubt any of the contestants really knew the risk involved. They just wanted a Wii, and I don't blame them.
The radio station probably didn't know either.

They did.
Even if they didn't, you should research any possible effects before you hold such a contest.

That being said,, they could've just forked over $250 and waited in line. I had to wait 18 hours, but it's most definatly worth it.
 

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