Would You Like a Coffin With That?

I came across a story the other day about a man who died in a Burger King restaurant in the U.K.

Seems the gent had stopped in at lunchtime, and had a Whopper of a heart attack. He collapsed while standing in line, and staff tried to revive him but were unsuccessful. Fortunately, nobody asked him, “Would you like fries with that?” The police were called because the death occurred in a public place, but no foul play is suspected as the man had a preexisting medical condition. The kicker is, the restaurant continued to serve lunch to patrons, whose idea of “have it your way” apparently meant stepping around a dead body to order a flame-broiled burger. 

I don’t know about you, but seeing a guy croak in front of me would be an appetite killer, no matter how much I’d been craving BK’s new Satisfries®. At the very least, I’d walk across the street to Subway, or any other place where a customer hadn’t just died. (This being England, I might have to settle for some steak and kidney pudding instead, but even that would beat eating chicken strips while trying to avoid looking at the dead guy lying on the floor). Call me crazy that way.

It would suck to die in a Burger King. It’s so public…and so inconvenient. Not as inconvenient as, say, a pilot kicking the bucket while at the controls of a jumbo jet full of passengers, but still. And it’s kind of embarrassing. You’d probably have a lot of people going, “No wonder he died, eating fast food all the time.” Which isn’t fair to the poor dearly departed, who not only can’t defend himself, but might have been getting ready to order a Chicken, Apple & Cranberry Garden Fresh Salad with TENDERGRILL® for all we know. Or maybe it was his first time ever. Perhaps he’d subsisted on a diet of bubble and squeak and mushy peas all his life, and finally wanted to treat himself to a fast food meal just once in order to break the bland British food monotony. The point is, we’ll never know! Which is why I’d prefer to pass away in private, thankyouverymuch.

Not to mention the fact that I’d hate for my last sensory experiences before departing this mortal coil to include the scent of stale fry grease and the sight of some pimply-faced adolescent with a name badge proclaiming him Brandon.

When I searched Google for information on this story, I was surprised to learn just how many people actually die at Burger King. This was not an isolated incident, believe it or not. We have, to wit:

  • Four men shot and killed in Burger King parking lots (Aberdeen, NC, August; Santa Cruz, CA, August; Montrose, TX, March; Waukegan, IL, 2012).
  • Three women murdered inside Burger King restaurants (DeBary, FL, 2011; Lindenhurst, IL, 2006; Bridgewater, MA, 2002).
  • Two men shot to death in Burger King drive-throughs (Toronto, March; New Haven, CT, 2012).
  • One woman intentionally run over by a car in a BK drive-through (Denver, 2009).
  • One woman run over by her own car in the parking garage of Burger King’s corporate headquarters (Miami, 2011).
  • One man found dead in a Burger King bathroom (Beaumont, TX, 2010).
  • One man died after a Burger King employee punched him in the face (Detroit, 2010).
  • One man died after a fight that started in a Burger King spilled out onto the street (Oakland, 2012).

And so forth and so on. Apparently, dying at Burger King is all the rage, kind of like twerking and gluten-free foods and shutting down the government. I knew fast food was bad for your health, but sheesh. I had no idea just going to pick some up could kill you. For the record, people die at McDonald’s, Wendy’s, and Taco Bell, too. I found bizarre stories about all of them. They just appear to do so in far fewer numbers.

My favorite story of all still involves Burger King and a dead man, but at least it didn’t happen there. David Kime, a WWII veteran from Pennsylvania, died earlier this year at the age of 88. Kime was a huge fan of Burger King, especially the Whopper Junior. After he passed away in January, his family honored him by having the entire funeral procession, hearse and all, pass through the BK drive-through. Everybody got a Whopper Junior, including the deceased; his daughter laid a bag containing a burger atop his casket, and they were buried together. I’m not making this up: you can read the story here.

So, what do you think about all these Burger King deaths? Are you willing to risk your life for a Double Whopper? Where do you think is the worst place imaginable to die?

An oddly common sight.
An oddly common sight.

Published by Mark Petruska

I'm a professional writer and editor living my best life in south central Wisconsin.

25 thoughts on “Would You Like a Coffin With That?

  1. Okay Mark, this is just too ironic because a friend of my family (a woman who was once married to my uncle) died in a Burger King (I kid you not). I’m pretty sure it was a Burger King, but it may have been a Wendy’s. Anyway, she suddenly just fell on the floor while standing in line; waiting to order. And they found out later (through the autopsy) that she had had a brain aneurysm for years (and didn’t know it), and that it had burst that afternoon.


    1. No way!! I almost fell out of my chair when I read this, Ron. What are the odds?! (Then again, after reading about all the other BK deaths, I guess it shouldn’t come as too big a surprise).


    1. LMAO! I can totally picture Brandon saying that to the stunned crowd of onlookers. Hey, a little thing like a death in a diner didn’t stop MY parents from finishing their meal, according to my mom’s comment above!


    1. I haven’t been to Burger King in years. I much prefer Burgerville, our local chain. And a quick search online shows NO DEATHS THERE! Bonus. (Plus, their pepper bacon cheeseburger is really, really good).


  2. “Apparently, dying at Burger King is all the rage, kind of like twerking and gluten-free foods and shutting down the government.” LOL

    Wow, I can’t believe you found so many examples of deaths at BK. Then again, we had a guy from the Am. Red Cross come to our work for CPR training and he seriously told us to check our bathrooms periodically because “women go there to die.”

    Yaaaaaah… ??? Needless to say, that became a running joke in the store. “I’m off to check the bathroom for dead women…”


  3. This reminds me of something that actually happened to mom and I in NJ in the early 70s. We stopped for lunch at a small restaurant in Lakehurst NJ and placed our order with the waitress. When we were waiting for our order, all of a sudden a lady starts screaming: HE’S DEAD……HE’S DEAD. Her husband had gone into the restroom and dropped dead. What a scene! A few minutes later, our lunch order arrived. Given the situation it was very difficult to sit there and enjoy lunch. Can’t remember for sure, but we probably just walked out. This is a TRUE story.


    1. Well, if you’ve already paid for your meatloaf and the situation is under control, you might as well go ahead and finish it! As long as the dead guy was in the bathroom and not sprawled across the floor next to your booth.


  4. OMG – I am a little speechless but then again not. I had to go to a business trip in Vegas years ago and a man also either died or collapsed and the people around him continued to gamble as the paramedics surrounded him. It was sickening.. I couldn’t leave the area fast enough


  5. And to think I used to work at one or two. Never had anyone die, thank goodness! But what a story if one had huh?


Add Your Two Cents!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: