Darwin Award Candidates
People who are victims of Darwin's theory of natural selection.
- In September 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.
- In October, a 49-year-old San Francisco stockbroker, who "totally zoned
when he ran," according to his wife, accidentally jogged off a 200-foot-high
cliff on his daily run.
- Buxton, NC: A man died on a beach when an 8-foot-deep hole he had dug
into the sand caved in as he sat inside it. Beachgoers said Daniel Jones,
21, dug the hole for fun, or protection from the wind, and had been sitting
in a beach chair at the bottom Thursday afternoon when it collapsed, burying
him beneath 5 feet of sand. People on the beach, on the outer banks, used
their hands and shovels, trying to claw their way to Jones, a resident of
Woodbridge, VA, but could not reach him. It took rescue workers using heavy
equipment almost an hour to free him while about 200 people looked on. Jones
was pronounced dead at a hospital.
- In February, Santiago Alvarado, 24, was killed in Lompoc, as he fell
face-first 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.
- According to police in Dahlonega, GA, ROTC cadet Nick Berrena, 20, was
stabbed to death in January by fellow cadet Jeffrey Hoffman, 23, who was
trying to prove that a knife could not penetrate the flakvest Berrena was
- Sylvester Briddell, Jr., 26, was killed in February in Selbyville, DE,
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.
- In February, according to police in Windsor, Ont., Daniel Kolta, 27,and
Randy Taylor, 33, died in a head-on collision, thus earning a tie in the game
of chicken they were playing with their snowmobiles.
- In September, a 7-year-old boy fell off a 100-foot-high bluff near Ozark,
AK, after he lost his grip swinging on a cross that marked the spot where
another person had fallen to his death in 1990.
Darwin Award Honourable Mentions
- In Guthrie, OK, in October, Jason Heck tried to kill a millipede with a
shot from his .22-caliber rifle, but the bullet ricocheted off a rock near the
hole and hit pal Antonio Martinez in the head, fracturing his skull.
- In Elyria, Ohio, in October, Martyn Eskins, attempting to clean out
cobwebs in his basement, declined to use a broom in favor of a propane torch
and caused a fire that burned the first and second floors of his house.
- Paul Stiller, 47, was hospitalized in Andover Township, NJ, in September,
and his wife Bonnie was also injured, by a quarter-stick of dynamite that blew
up in their car. While driving around at 2 AM, the bored couple lit the
dynamite and tried to toss it out the window to see what would happen, but
they apparently failed to notice that the window was closed.
- Taking "Amateur Night" Too Far: In Betulia, Colombia, an annual festival
in November includes five days of amateur bullfighting. This year, no bull was
killed, but dozens of matadors were injured, including one gored in the head
and one Bobbittized. Said one participant, "It's just one bull against
[a town of] a thousand Morons."