Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Radio Kills

Jennifer Strange, a mother of three from suburban Rancho Cordova, died last Friday of apparent water intoxication just hours after a failed bid to win a Nintendo Wii video-game system for her kids in a promotion dubbed "Hold Your Pee for a Wii."


A tape of the program, known as the "Morning Rave" on KDND-FM (107.9) "The End," reveals that the potential fatal effects of drinking too much water were raised during the course of the contest, with one on-air host mentioning the 2005 death of a college student during a hazing ritual in Chico. A listener also called in to advise against the stunt.

Strange -- one of 20 contestants -- initially joked lightheartedly with the show hosts as she and the rest chugged bottled water. But as the hours wore on, it came down to Strange and one other woman for the grand prize, and she admitted to having a splitting headache and feeling wobbly. Strange quipped on air that "it looks like I'm pregnant again."


A preliminary review by the coroner found she likely died of water intoxication, also called hyperhydration. People who drink too much water too fast can dilute their bodily fluids, creating potentially deadly shifts in their electrolyte levels.


Officials at Entercom Communications Corp., the station's Philadelphia-based owner, fired 10 people from KDND on Tuesday, including station manager Steve Weed, promotions chief Robin Pechota, producer Liz Diaz and the five on-air personalities involved in the show -- Adam Cox, Steve Maney, Patricia Sweet, Matt Carter and Pete Inzerillo. None returned calls for comment.

Alberto Gonzales has already offered them jobs at Bush Justice.

Here's some of the wacky radio banter soon to be known as Exhibit "A":

Female caller named Eva: "I want to say that, um, that those people that are drinking all that water can get sick and possibly die from water intoxication." DJ: "We're aware of that." DJ: "They signed releases, so we're not responsible. It's OK."

No comments: