College student dies days after choking during pancake eating contest

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The daughter of an officer who was killed in the Sept. 11 terror attacks died Friday after choking during a pancake eating contest.

Caitlin Nelson, a 20-year-old college student majoring in social work, passed away just three days after she collapsed during a fraternities and sororities' fundraising event held at Sacred Heart University in Connecticut, AP reported.

The New Jersey native's breathing was constricted after eating about 4 pancakes while competing in the fundraiser, police say.

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Local authorities told reporters that nursing students attending the event performed lifesaving procedures on Nelson before being transported to the nearest hospital. There, Nelson's condition was recorded as stable but critical.

She was then taken to a New York hospital, where she died shortly.

"It's a tragic event that started out as something fun," Fairfield police Lt. Bob Kalamaras told CBS News."It was just a tragic accident."

About several thousand people attended a candlelight vigil held for Nelson, a Kappa Delta soror, on the college campus Sunday night.

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"The whole mood is pretty somber on campus right now," Sacred Heart sophomore Kevin Carlson told reporters of Nelson's death Monday.

University officials confirmed that counseling service are being provided to students.

"The SHU community is mourning today," the university said in a statement released Monday. "We ask that during this time you give Caitlin's family and the members of the SHU community privacy while they grieve."

According to her Linkedin page, Nelson was scheduled to graduate in 2018. The young student was certified in youth mental health first aid and also volunteered for two years at the Resiliency Center of Newtown -- an organization that provides trauma-Informed services to those impacted by the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook School on December 14, 2012.

At the time of this report, funeral services have not been announced.

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