The 2000 Darwin Award Nominees
A young Canadian man, searching for a way of getting drunk cheaply, because he had no money with which to buy alcohol, mixed gasoline with milk. Not surprisingly, this concoction made him ill, and he vomited into the fireplace in his house. This resulting explosion and fire burned his house down, killing both him and his sister.
A 34-year-old white male found dead in the basement of his home died of suffocation, according to police. He was approximately 6'2" tall and weighed 225 pounds. He was wearing a pleated skirt, white bra, black and white saddle shoes, and a woman's wig. It appeared that he was trying to create a schoolgirl's uniform look. He was also wearing a military gas mask that had the filter canister removed and a rubber hose attached in its place. The other end of the hose was connected to a one end of a hollow wooden tube approx. 12" long and 3" in diameter. The tube's other end was inserted into his rear end for reasons unknown, and was the cause of his suffocation. Police found the task of explaining the circumstances of his death to his family very awkward.
Three Brazilian men were flying in a light aircraft at low altitude when another plane approached. It appears that they decided to moon the occupants of the other plane, but lost control of their own aircraft and crashed. They were all found dead in the wreckage with their pants around their ankles.
A police officer in Ohio responded to a 911 call. She had no details before arriving, except that someone had reported that his father was not breathing. Upon arrival, the officer found the man face down on the couch, naked. When she rolled him over to check for a pulse and to start CPR, she noticed burn marks around his genitals. After the ambulance arrived and removed the man - who was declared dead on arrival at the hospital - the police made a closer inspection of the couch, and noticed that the man had made a hole between the cushions. Upon flipping the couch over, they discovered what caused his death. Apparently the man had a habit of putting his penis between the cushions, down into the hole and between two electrical sanders (with the sandpaper removed, for obvious reasons). According to the story, after his orgasm the discharge shorted out one of the sanders, electrocuting him.
A 27-year-old French woman lost control of her car on a highway near Marseilles and crashed into a tree, seriously injuring her passenger and killing herself. As a commonplace road accident, this would not have qualified for a Darwin nomination, were it not for the fact that the driver's attention had been distracted by her Tamagotchi key ring, which had started urgently beeping for food as she drove along. In an attempt to press the correct buttons to save the Tamagotchi's life, the woman lost her own.
A 22-year-old Reston, VA man was found dead after he tried to use octopus straps to bungee jump off a 70-foot railroad trestle. Fairfax County police said Eric Barcia, a fast-food worker, taped a bunch of these straps together, wrapped an end around one foot, anchored the other end to the trestle at Lake Accotink Park, jumped and hit the pavement. Warren Carmichael, a police spokesman, said investigators think Barcia was alone because his car was found nearby. "The length of the cord that he had assembled was greater than the distance between the trestle and the ground", Carmichael said. Police say the apparent cause of death was "Major trauma".
A man in Alabama died from rattlesnake bites. It seems that he and a friend were playing a game of catch, using the rattlesnake as a ball. The friend - no doubt, a future Darwin Awards candidate - was hospitalized.
Employees in a medium-sized warehouse in west Texas noticed the smell of a gas leak. Sensibly, management evacuated the building, extinguishing all potential sources of ignition lights, power, etc. After the building had been evacuated, two technicians from the gas company were dispatched. Upon entering the building, they found they had difficulty navigating in the dark. To their frustration, none of the lights worked (you can see what's coming, can't you?). Witnesses later described the sight of one of the technicians reaching into his pocket and retrieving an object, that resembled a cigarette lighter. Upon operation of the lighter-like object, the gas in the warehouse exploded, sending pieces of it up to three miles away. Nothing was found of the technicians, but the lighter was virtually untouched by the explosion. The technician suspected of causing the blast had never been thought of as 'bright' by his peers.
James Brian Wise, 20, of 390 Davenport Ave., Valparaiso, was twirling a gun at some friends' house in Fort Walton Beach on Friday night when it went off and shot him in the head, according to a report from the Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office.
The incident occurred at 1821 Whispering Oaks Lane, Fort Walton Beach. The Sheriff's Office responded at about 9:40 p.m. Jessica Nicole James, 18, was the primary witness cited in the report.
According to the report, James said Wise was in the kitchen of her home when she noticed a gun sticking out of his waistband. When she commented about it, he unloaded the gun and handed it to her for examination. She gave it back; he reloaded it and began twirling it in his right hand. The gun went off and shot him in the head. Wise died the next day. Wise, an employee at Brooks Auto Body in Crestview, was born in Tampa and graduated from Niceville High School this year.
This page was last updated January 1, 2004.