Tagged: Darwin Award

Darwin Award candidates: Teens killed in ghost legend game


Union Pacific Railroad Dick looking for bits and pieces

An Amtrak train struck a Jeep in Poplar Bluff, Mo., killing two teens and injuring one who were playing a game involving a ghost story…

Just after midnight Monday, five teens parked on train tracks that cut across County Road 554 and shut off the car in search of ghosts.

“They were playing a stupid game called ‘Ghost Train,’ and the object is to get scared, kind of like telling stories on Halloween,” Butler County Coroner Jim Akers said. “The game was to park on the tracks, let the windows fog up inside and let your mind play tricks on you.”

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported when a passenger train came around the bend, the driver couldn’t start the car again. Three teens fled to safety, but two, in a panic, were unable to unbuckle themselves. One girl ran back to help them, just as the train smashed into the car.

Victoria Swanson, 15, and Haley Whitmer, 17, died at the scene. Kaitlyn Fowler, 15, was seriously injured and hospitalized.

The game, outlined in a 2007 post on strangeusa.com, is rooted in the story of a train wreck which occurred in the 1900s, killing nearly everyone on board. Once one parks on the tracks and shuts their car off, the windows will fog up and supposedly train whistles can be heard.

Well, I imagine they heard the real train whistle. Too late.

Combo Post: Dumb crook of the day tries for Darwin Award


Thomas sitting in the cab before he fell to his death

A nearly 15-hour standoff ended early Tuesday in Dallas when a robbery suspect who climbed atop a construction crane on the campus of Southern Methodist University fell 150 feet to his death.

Lee Dell Thomas Jr., 44, had barricaded himself in the crane’s cab Monday. He fell after Dallas police sent four officers up the crane to try to remove him…

Thomas had one leg inside and one leg outside the window of the compartment. Then, he clung to the crane’s edge for a moment before falling to his death just before 2 a.m. Tuesday.

Thomas may have been involved in a robbery in Dallas, police said…

Thomas was spotted in the crane’s control cab around 11:30 a.m. Monday, apparently trying to avoid arrest, local affiliates reported. Shortly afterward, he threw an unidentified object from the cab.

The crane was being used to build a housing area near the football stadium, according to CNN affiliate KTVT. The crane is also next to the George W. Bush Presidential Library, which is under construction.

Video from KTVT showed the silhouette of a man holed up in the cab of the crane, refusing to come down.

Local affiliates at the scene said Thomas got sick inside the cab Monday, possibly because the compartment didn’t have air-conditioning. Members of the media saw him take off his shirt and shoes, break out a window and toss his clothing out.

Another one bites the dust – pretty much literally. How do you hide from the law in a dead end 150 feet in the air?

Dumb crooks of the day + Darwin Award candidates


Daylife/Reuters Pictures used by permission

A suspected armed robber was killed when explosives his gang was transporting accidentally went off in the centre of Nigeria’s main oil city of Port Harcourt on Thursday…

The blast ripped through a minibus carrying at least three suspected robbers, four AK-47 rifles and a large amount of ammunition, Rivers State Police Commissioner Mohammed Abdulkadir Indabawa told Reuters.

Two people in the bus and a woman who was nearby were injured in the explosion, he added.

We suspect they were armed robbers going (on) an operation, and things went wrong for them,” said Indabawa.

Port Harcourt is at the heart of Nigeria’s 2 million plus barrel a day oil industry and has been plagued by militant groups and criminal gangs cashing in on the money it generates.

A large economy-size oops! Qualifying for a Darwin Award, as well.

Passion of Christ play + sloppy acting = Darwin Award candidate

Just before he stepped off the edge

A Brazilian actor died after accidentally hanging himself during the play “The Passion of the Christ…”

Tiago Klimeck, 27, was one of the actors from a local theater company taking part in an independent production of the play April 6 in the city of Itarare. Klimeck died Sunday after spending more than two weeks in a medically induced coma due to extensive brain injuries from a prolonged lack of oxygen after accidentally hanging himself, according to the Hospital Santa Casa de Misericordia, in the neighboring city of Itapeva.

…Klimeck, in the role of Judas Iscariot, hangs himself as described in the Bible in the book of Matthew. Klimeck wore a harness under his robe during the play, according to CNN affiliate TV Record.

Police investigator Jose Victor Bassetti told the news station this was the third year the local fire department let the theater company borrow the harness for the play and that Klimeck was not supervised because he knew how to use the equipment. The harness, along with the rope used in the play, are now being analyzed at the Criminal Institute of Sorocaba.

Uh, obviously, he wasn’t as competent at using the safety harness as he thought, eh?

Trying to break record for longest time buried alive — certainly will be nominated for a Darwin Award!

A Sri Lankan man has died while trying to set a record for the longest time spent buried alive, police say.

Janaka Basnayake, 24, is said to have buried himself over the weekend with the help of family and friends in a trench sealed with wood and soil in the town of Kantale, about 220km north of Sri Lanka’s capital, Colombo. A local newspaper reported that the trench was three metres deep.

Basnayake was buried at around 9.30am on Saturday. Police said that when he was brought to the surface at 4pm he was unconscious and was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival…

Basnayake’s mother, LD Leelawathi, said her son had enjoyed performing unusual acts since his childhood – a liking that grew after watching movies, the Lankadeepa newspaper reported. It quoted her as saying her son had been buried alive on two previous occasions – for two and a half hours and six hours respectively.

It was unclear whether there is an official world record for the longest time buried alive.

Poor bugger just may have set a new record for the period of time he was alive. We’ll never know.

The Guiness World Records stopped recognizing any record in 1991 citing safety concerns over people killing themselves in the attempt..

Man blows himself up trying to burn ex-girlfriend’s body

An explosive south Fulton County fire was apparently started last month by a man trying to burn his ex-girlfriend’s body…Sarone Bridges perished in the ensuing blaze, but not immediately after the blast that started the quick-burning fire, Fulton County Fire Chief Larry Few said.

“Based on how his body was positioned, I think (the) explosion took its toll on him,” Few said. “The concussion from the blast could have made him disoriented where he fell, and he received the thermal burns afterwards.”

Investigators from the Fulton County Medical Examiner’s Office said Bridges died of burns and smoke inhalation.

Bridges’ ex-girlfriend, Beverly Bland, 34, was strangled before the fire, police said…

Few said Bridges, 35, doused a sleeping bag with gasoline and laid Bland’s body on the bag to set it on fire. But his plan literally blew up in his face.

“When he threw that match, the vapors of gasoline are what ignited,” Few said. “There was an immediate fireball that blew the windows out…”

Sometimes you get what you deserve.

Protesting helmet laws + no helmet = Darwin award candidate

Police say a motorcyclist participating in a protest ride against helmet laws in upstate New York died after he flipped over the bike’s handlebars and hit his head on the pavement.

The accident happened Saturday afternoon in the town of Onondaga, in central New York near Syracuse.

State troopers tell The Post-Standard of Syracuse that 55-year-old Philip A. Contos of Parish, N.Y., was driving a 1983 Harley Davidson with a group of bikers who were protesting helmet laws by not wearing helmets.

Troopers say Contos hit his brakes and the motorcycle fishtailed. The bike spun out of control, and Contos toppled over the handlebars. He was pronounced dead at a hospital.

Troopers say Contos would have likely survived if he had been wearing a helmet.

Uh-huh.

Thanks, Ursarodinia

Truly predictable Darwin Award candidate

What began as a fun night on the town ended in death Sunday after a 24-year-old Clinton Township man pushed through a hatch on a party bus and hit his head on an overpass, Michigan State Police said.

The incident is being investigated as “an extremely tragic accident,” Sgt. Sheila Shields said.

“People don’t realize how dangerous a moving vehicle is,” she said. “People have to think.”

According to a preliminary investigation, Salvatore Talluto was among a group of about 25 people on the party bus returning from an outing in downtown Detroit.

Scott Wanagat, Talluto’s brother-in-law, said the group was having a bachelor party and hired the motor coach to make plans easier.

Police said the bus was heading east on Interstate 94 near Van Dyke on Detroit’s east side about 2 a.m. when Talluto left his seat and put his head through an emergency exit hatch. Soon after, he struck an overpass, Shields said.

The bus was traveling about 55 mph at the time; the force of the impact knocked Talluto back into the bus, Shields said. It was unclear if Talluto had been drinking alcohol or if the bus driver would face charges. Police were called and the man was transported to St. John Hospital in Detroit. He was declared brain dead that evening, Wanagat said.

Ayup.

Darwin award candidate

A Russian man died after burying himself alive in a friend’s garden in the Far Eastern city of Blagoveshchensk in an endurance test that went wrong, according to investigators.

The 35-year-old man wanted to test his endurance and asked his friend to help him spend the night buried, according to Alexei Lubinsky, a senior aide to the region’s chief investigator.

The two men dug a hole in the garden and put inside an improvised coffin with holes for air pipes. The man also took a blanket, a bottle of water and a mobile phone.

The victim’s friend told investigators he covered the hole with planks and earth to a depth of around eight inches and then went home, after receiving a phone call from his friend telling him he was fine. The next morning, he found his friend dead.

Investigators speculated that a rainstorm overnight could have blocked the air supply to the coffin.

“We know that the victim was a computer programmer and that he has a small child,” Mr Lubinsky said, adding that he probably was influenced by reading stories about self-burial on the internet.

I’m honestly dismayed by the number of truly stupid risks people take with their lives after reading about inane behavior on the Web. If I strolled around town handing out leaflets suggesting idiotic life-threatening stunts for people to try I’d probably be locked away as a menace.

Deservedly so.

Darwin Award — Text yourself right off a cliff

Dr. Frank Ryan, plastic surgeon to Heidi Montag and other celebrities, was sending a Twitter message about his border collie just before his fatal car accident, his ex-girlfriend tells PEOPLE.

“He lived up in Malibu on a tiny street and he was texting while driving and he accidentally went over the cliff,” Charmaine Blake says.

Blake, a celebrity publicist, says Ryan’s family was told by investigators that the Tweeting caused the wreck on Monday.

The dog, whose name is Jill – Blake’s middle name – was in the car at the time of the crash and survived injuries to the head, eye and paw.

The California Highway Patrol confirms Ryan was texting before the crash, but investigators have not officially determined the cause of the accident.

“It is one of the elements that we are investigating,” CHP Officer Steven Reid says…

She adds that she hopes other people learn from this tragedy that “people should not text and drive at all.”

Golly gee, thanks for the tip, lady.