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PostHeaderIcon Darwin Awards 2001


May 2001, Croatia. A college student dropped the ball when a hand

grenade exploded while he was juggling it at a party in Vidovci.

The six injured onlookers earn Honorable Mentions for their disregard

of common sense, and the juggler wins a Darwin for his lethal stupidity.

(The Sun Newspaper, ananova.com)


30 May 2001, Oregon. Ismael drove his truck into a mailbox, bringing

down 7500-volt power lines on top of the vehicle. He surveyed the

situation, then pulled out a pair of pruning shears and clipped the cable

lying across his truck.

The current took the path of least resistance, across his heart and out

his left foot. Ismael was found lying motionless on the power line with

a pair of pruning shears in his hands. (The Oregonian)


1 March 2000, New Zealand. Two university students climbed to the top of

Baldwin Street, the steepest in the world according to The Guinness Book of

World Records. The women attempted to pilot a rubbish bin down the

38-degree incline, but missed a crucial turn and hurtled into a trailer

parked legally aside the road. One woman was instantly killed, and her

co-pilot suffered serious head injuries–though one wonders how they



2001, Scotland A Glasgow electric train proved the undoing of one

enterprising thief, who thought he’d steal the copper from the rails,

between trains, when they are not electrified. His plan might have

worked… but for one small detail. He had consulted an out-of-date

timetable and the train arrived ten minutes early, putting an electrifying

end to his ignoble career.


16 July, 2001, United States. An assistant plant manager made a permanent

exit after using an acetylene torch to cut a hole in an asphalt emulsion


His plan was to determine the amount remaining in the tank, but his chosen

method was in complete disregard of safety procedures and warning signs.

When the torch reached the level of the emulsion, the resulting explosion

blew him 93 feet away. (CCH Employment Safety & Health Guide No. 1573)


21 July 2001, Idaho. When the brakes failed while driving down a steep

mountain road, Marco bailed out on his eight passengers and threw himself

from the Dodge van. Too bad he didn’t alert the others to the problem

before he hit the pavement. Another passenger was able to bring the vehicle

to a stop a short distance away. Marco died of a head wound, but no one

else was injured.

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