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The 1997 Darwin Award Winner

For those of you who don't know, the Darwin awards are given out annually for events that do the most to cleanse the gene pool of those characteristics undesirable in the human race, most notably stupidity.


Police in George, WA issued a report on the events leading up to the deaths of Robert Uhlenake (24) and his friend, Ormond D. Young (27) at the Metallica concert last Friday. Uhlenake and Young were found dead at the Gorge Amphitheater after the show. Uhlenake was in pickup that was on top of Young at the bottom of a 20 ft drop. Young was found with severe lacerations, numerous fractures, contusions, and a branch in his anal cavity. He also had been stabbed and his pants were in a tree above him, some 15 ft off the ground; adding to the mystery of the heretofore unexplained scene.

According to Commissioner-In-Charge Inoye Appleton, Uhlenake and Young had tried to get tickets for the sold-out concert. When they were unable to get any tickets, the two decided to stay in the lot and drink. Once the show began, and after the two had consumed 18 beers between the two of them, they hit upon the idea of scaling the 7 foot wooden security fence around the perimeter of the site and sneak in. They apparently moved the truck up to the edge of the fence and decided that Young would go over first and assist Uhlenake later. They had not counted on the fact that while it was a 7 foot fence on the parking lot side, there was a 23 foot drop on the other side.

Young, who weighed 255 lbs and was quite inebriated, had jumped up and over the fence and promptly fell about half the 23 foot distance before a large tree branch broke his fall AND his left forearm; unfortunately, he also managed to get his shorts caught on the branch. Since he was now in a lot of pain and with no way to extricate himself and his shorts from the tree, he decided, seeing bushes down below, to cut his shorts off and fall to the ground. Upon cutting the last bit of fabric from himself, he suddenly plummeted to earth, losing grip of the knife. The "soft" bushes were actually holly bushes and landing in them caused a massive number of cuts. He also had the misfortune of landing squarely on a holly bush branch; effectively impaling himself. The knife, which he had accidentally released 15 ft up, now landed and stabbed him in his left thigh. Apparently, he was in a lot of pain.

Enter his friend Robert. Uhlenake had apparently observed the last bit of this and, despite his inebriated state, realized that Young was in trouble. He hit upon the idea of lowering a rope to his friend and pull him up and over the fence. This was complicated by the fact that Uhlenake was outweighed by his friend by a good 100 lbs. Again, despite his state he realized he could use their truck to pull Young out. Unfortunately, because of his state, Uhlenake put the truck in reverse, rather than drive, broke through the fence, landed on Young (killing him), was thrown out of the truck and subsequently died of internal injuries.

"So that's how a dead 255 lb man with no pants on, with a truck on top of him and a stick up his ass came to be" said Commissioner Appleton.


This story is an urban legend according to the folks at the semi-official Darwin Awards site.

Richard Harter's World Darwin Awards, Main Page Humor pages Evolution and origins email

This page was last updated January 1, 2004