06 January, 2013

The 2012 nominees for the Darwin Award

Nominee No. 1: [San Jose Mercury  News]:

An unidentified man, using a shotgun like  a club to break a former girl friend's windshield, accidentally shot himself  to death when the gun discharged, blowing a hole in his gut.

Nominee No. 2: [Kalamazoo  Gazette]:

James Burns, 34, (a mechanic) of Alamo,  MI, was killed in March as he was trying to repair what police describe as a  "farm-type truck." Burns got a friend to drive the truck on a highway while  Burns hung underneath so that he could ascertain the source of a troubling  noise. Burns' clothes caught on something, however, and the other man found  Burns "wrapped in the drive shaft."

Nominee No. 3: [Hickory Daily  Record]:

Ken Charles Barger, 47, accidentally shot  himself to death in December in Newton, NC. Awakening to the sound of a  ringing telephone beside his bed, he reached for the phone but grabbed instead  a Smith & Wesson 38 Special, which discharged when he drew it to his  ear.

Nominee No. 4: [UPI, Toronto  ]:

Police said a lawyer demonstrating the  safety of windows in a downtown Toronto skyscraper crashed through a pane with  his shoulder and plunged 24 floors to his death. A police spokesman said Garry  Hoy, 39, fell into the courtyard of the Toronto Dominion Bank Tower early  Friday evening as he was explaining the strength of the buildings windows to  visiting law students. Hoy previously has conducted demonstrations of window  strength according to police reports. Peter Lawson, managing partner of the  firm Holden Day Wilson, told the Toronto Sun newspaper that Hoy was "one of  the best and brightest" members of the 200-man association. A person has to  wonder what the dimmer members of this law firm are like.

Nominee No. 5: [The News of the  Weird]:

Michael Anderson Godwin made News of the  Weird posthumously. He had spent several years awaiting South Carolina's  electric chair on a murder conviction before having his sentence reduced to  life in prison. While sitting on a metal toilet in his cell attempting to fix  his small TV set, he bit into a wire and was electrocuted.

Nominee No. 6: [The Indianapolis  Star]:

A cigarette lighter may have triggered a  fatal explosion in Dunkirk, IN. A Jay County man, using a cigarette lighter to  check the barrel of a muzzleloader, was killed Monday night when the weapon  discharged in his face, sheriff's investigators said. Gregory David Pryor, 19,  died in his parents' rural Dunkirk home at about 11:30 PM. Investigators said  Pryor was cleaning a 54-caliber muzzle-loader that had not been firing  properly. He was using the lighter to look into the barrel when the gunpowder  ignited.

Nominee No. 7: [Reuters, Mississauga,  Ontario ]:

A man cleaning a bird feeder on the  balcony of his condominium apartment in this Toronto suburb slipped and fell  23 stories to his death. "Stefan Macko, 55, was standing on a wheelchair when  the accident occurred," said Inspector Darcy Honer of the Peel Regional  Police. "It appears that the chair moved, and he went over the balcony," Honer  said.

Finally, THE WINNER!!!: [Arkansas Democrat  Gazette]:

Two local men were injured when their  pickup truck left the road and struck a tree near Cotton Patch on State  Highway 38 early Monday. Woodruff County deputy Dovey Snyder reported the  accident shortly after midnight Monday. Thurston Poole, 33, of Des Arc, and  Billy Ray Wallis, 38, of Little Rock , were returning to Des Arc after a  frog-catching trip. On an overcast Sunday night, Poole 's pickup truck  headlights malfunctioned.

The two men concluded that the headlight  fuse on the older-model truck had burned out. As a replacement fuse was not  available, Wallis noticed that the .22 caliber bullets from his pistol fit  perfectly into the fuse box next to the steering-wheel column. Upon inserting  the bullet the headlights again began to operate properly, and the two men  proceeded on eastbound toward the White River Bridge .

After traveling approximately 20 miles,  and just before crossing the river, the bullet apparently overheated,  discharged and struck Poole in the testicles. The vehicle swerved sharply  right, exited the pavement, and struck a tree. Poole suffered only minor cuts  and abrasions from the accident but will require extensive surgery to repair  the damage to his testicles, which will never operate as intended.

Wallis sustained a broken clavicle and was  treated and released. "Thank God we weren't on that bridge when Thurston shot  his balls off or we might be dead," stated Wallis

"I've been a trooper for 10 years in this  part of the world, but this is a first for me. I can't believe that those two  would admit how this accident happened," said Snyder.

Upon being notified of the wreck, Lavinia  (Poole's wife) asked how many frogs the boys had caught and did anyone get  them from the truck? Though Poole and Wallis did not die as a result of their  misadventure as normally required by Darwin Award Official Rules, it can be  argued that Poole did in fact effectively remove himself from the gene  pool.

You can't escape the responsibility of  tomorrow by evading it today.

~  Lincoln

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