2011 Darwin Award Finalist and Champion released today!!
Semifinalist No. 1 was a young Canadian man searching for way of getting drunk cheaply by mixing gasoline with milk. This of course made him ill, and he barfed -- into the fireplace in his house. The explosion and fire destroyed the house, killing him and his sister.
Semifinalists No. 2 (note the plural) was a trio of Brazilian men flying in a light aircraft at low altitude when another plane approached. The three men decided to 'moon' the occupants of the other plane. This, of course, meant no one was piloting their light aircraft and it crashed. They were all found dead in the wreckage with their pants around their ankles.
Semifinalist No. 3 was a 22-year-old Reston, Virginaia, man. According to a police spokesman, Eric Barcia, a fast-food worker, taped together a bunch of octopus straps together, wrapped an end around one foot and anchored the other end to the railroad trestle at Lake Accontink Park, jumped and hit the pavement. Police investigators noted: "The length of the cord that he had assembled was greater than the distance between the trestle and the concrete."
Semifinalist No. 4 was an Alabama man who died from numerous rattlesnake bites -- from playing catch with a friend using a rattlesnake as a ball. The friend, was hospitalized but lived, thus no Darwin Award for him.
Semifinalists No. 5 were company technicians responding to a medium-sized warehouse where employees reported smelling a natural gas leak. Management responded intelligently by evacuating the building and shutting off anything that could potentially ignite the leaking natural gas, and called technicians to find and fix the gas leak. On entering the warehouse, the technicians had difficulty in the dark. Witnesses later said one of the technicians reached into his pocket, retrieving an object that resembled a cigarette lighter that he tried to ignite. The explosion sent pieces of the warehouse up to three miles away. Nothing was found of the two technicians. Employees said the one suspected of causing the blast was never thought of as "especially bright".
Enough "setting the stage" for the big kahuna.
The winner of the 2011 Darwin Awards was a man from Arizona. We know this from Arizona Highway Patrol officers who came upon a pile of smoldering metal embedded in the side of a cliff rising above the road as the apex of a curve. The officers' first thought it was a plane crash, but it turned out to have been car. In piecing together the mystery,
Arizona Police investigators determined that the man was an amateur rocket scientist (emphasis on "amateur") who somehow got hold of a JATO (Jet Assisted Take Off -- a solid-fuel rocket designed to give heavy military transport planes a "boost" (they are sometimes called "booster rockets") for taking off from short airfields. The man had driven his 1967 Chevy Impala into the desert to find a long, straight stretch of road. He attached the JATO to the car, jumped in, got up some speed and ignited the JATO about 3 miles from the crash site. Police determined this from the scorched and melted asphalt at the "ignition" location. If operating properly, the JATO would have reached maximum thrust within 5 seconds, causing the Chevy to reach a speed in excess of 350 mile per hour and continuing at full power for another 20 - 25 seconds.
Police estimated the driver would have experienced G-forces comparable to those experienced by F-14 pilots under full afterburners, causing the driver to become irrelevant for the rest of the ride. The Chevy Impala remained on the straight highway for about 2.5 miles (about 15-20 seconds) before the driver slammed on the brakes, melting them immediately, blowing the tires which, in turn, made the Chevy airborne for 1.4 miles, where it impacted the cliff at a height of 125 feet, leaving a crater 3-feet deep in the rock. Police estimated he would have hit the cliff at a ground speed of 420 m.p.h.!
Now that's what I call "haulin' ass!"!
Darwin Awards: Darwin Awards
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