2010 Darwin Awards

(Presented each year for the most stupid actions imaginable.)


darwin-awardsEighth Place                

In Detroit, a 41-year-old man got stuck and drowned in two feet of water after squeezing head first through an 18-inch-wide sewer grate to retrieve his car keys. 

Seventh Place 

A 49-year-old San Francisco stockbroker, who “totally zoned when he ran,” accidentally jogged off a 100-foot high cliff. 

Sixth Place 

While at the beach, Daniel Jones, 21, dug an eight foot hole for protection from the wind and had been sitting in a beach chair at the bottom, when it collapsed, burying him beneath five feet of sand. People on the beach used their hands and shovels trying to get him out but could not reach him. It took rescue workers using heavy equipment almost an hour to free him. Jones was pronounced dead at the hospital. 

Fifth Place 

Santiago Alvarado, 24, was killed as he fell through the ceiling of a bicycle shop he was burglarizing. Death was caused when the long flashlight he had placed in his mouth to keep his hands free rammed into the base of his skull as he hit the floor. 

Fourth Place 

Sylvester Briddell, Jr., 26, was killed as he won a bet with friends who said he would not put a revolver loaded with four bullets into his mouth and pull the trigger. 

Third Place

After stepping around a marked police patrol car parked at the front door, a man walked into H&J Leather & Firearms intent on robbing the store. The shop was full of customers and a uniformed officer was standing at the counter. Upon seeing the officer, the would-be robber announced a hold-up and fired a few wild shots from a target pistol. The officer and a clerk promptly returned fire, and several customers also drew their guns and fired. The robber was pronounced dead at the scene by Paramedics.

And the Winner is.... 

Zookeeper Friedrich Riesfeldt (Paderborn, Germany) fed his constipated elephant 22 doses of animal laxative  and more than a bushel of berries, figs and prunes before the plugged-up pachyderm finally got relief. Investigators say that ill-fated Friedrich, 46, was attempting to give the ailing elephant an olive oil enema when the relieved beast unloaded. 
    The sheer force of the elephant’s unexpected defecation knocked Mr. Riesfeldt to the ground where he struck his head on a rock as the elephant continued to evacuate 200 pounds of dung on top of him. It seems to be just one of those freak accidents that proves that “stuff” happens. 

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