Thursday, February 23, 2012

Most Unusual Deaths

Some very unusual ways to meet your maker.  Some just seem like very poor judgment calls though.  In no particular order.

1979: Robert Williams, a worker at a Ford Motor Co. plant, was the first known human to be killed by a robot, after the arm of a one-ton factory robot hit him in the head.

2005: Lee Seung Seop, a 28-year-old South Korean, collapsed of fatigue and died after playing the video game Star Craft online for almost 50 consecutive hours in an Internet cafe.

2007: Kevin Whitrick, a 42-year-old man, committed suicide by hanging himself live on a webcam during an Internet chat session. 

1998: Tom and Eileen Lonergan were stranded while scuba diving with a group of divers off Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. The group’s boat accidentally abandoned them owing to an incorrect head count taken by the dive boat crew. Their bodies were never recovered. The incident inspired the film Open Water and an episode of 20/20.

1996: Sharon Lopatka, an Internet entrepreneur from Maryland, allegedly solicited a man via the Internet to torture and kill her for the purpose of sexual gratification. Her killer, Robert Fredrick Glass, was convicted of voluntary manslaughter for the homicide.

2009: Taylor Mitchell, a Canadian folk singer, was attacked and killed by two coyotes[159], only the second recorded human fatality from a coyote attack.

1986: Over 1,700 people were killed almost instantly near Lake Nyos in Cameroon when a mass of approximately 100 million cubic meters of carbon dioxide that had collected at the bottom of the lake due to seepage from geothermal sources was suddenly released on August 21, 1986. The gas cloud immediately settled (carbon dioxide is heavier than air) and covered an area of up to 12 miles (20 km) from the lake, killing all oxygen-breathing life almost instantly – although the nearby vegetation, which consumes carbon dioxide and releases oxygen, flourished afterwards.

1993: Actor Brandon Lee, son of Bruce Lee, was shot and killed by Michael Massee using a prop gun while filming the movie The Crow. A cartridge with only a primer and a bullet was fired in the pistol before the fatal scene; this caused a squib load, in which the primer provided enough force to push the bullet out of the cartridge and into the barrel of the revolver, where it became stuck. The malfunction went unnoticed by the crew, and the same gun was used again later to shoot the death scene. His death was not instantly recognized by the crew or other actors; they believed he was still acting

1999: Owen Hart, a Canadian-born professional wrestler for WWF, died during a pay-per-view event when performing a stunt. It was planned to have Owen come down from the rafters of the Kemper Arena on a safety harness tied to a rope to make his ring entrance. The safety latch was released and Owen dropped 78 feet (24 m), bouncing chest-first off the top rope resulting in a severed aorta, which caused his lungs to fill with blood.

2007: Jennifer Strange, a 28-year-old woman from Sacramento, died of water intoxication while trying to win a Nintendo Wii console in a KDND 107.9 “The End” radio station’s “Hold Your Wee for a Wii” contest, which involved drinking large quantities of water without urinating

2009: Vladimir Likhonos, a Ukrainian student, died after accidentally dipping a piece of homemade chewing gum into explosives he was using on another project. He mistook the jar of explosive for citric acid, which was also on his desk. The gum exploded, blowing off his jaw and most of the lower part of his face

2008: Isaiah Otieno, 20, a Kenyan student living in Cranbrook, British Columbia, Canada, was crushed when a single-engine Bell 206 helicopter crashed on top of him and burst into flames when he was walking to mail home a letter. Otieno did not hear the helicopter because he was wearing headphones at the time.

2004: Phillip Quinn, a 24-year-old from Kent, Washington was killed during an attempt to heat up a lava lamp bulb on his kitchen stove while observing it from a few feet away. The heat built up pressure in the bulb until it exploded, spraying shards of glass. One pierced his heart, killing him. The circumstances of his death were later repeated and confirmed in a 2006 episode of the popular science television series

2001: Bernd-Jürgen Brandes from Germany was voluntarily stabbed repeatedly and then partly eaten by Armin Meiwes (who was later called the Cannibal of Rothenburg). Brandes had answered an internet advertisement by Meiwes looking for someone for this purpose. Brandes explicitly stated in his will that he wished to be killed and eaten

1998: Every player on the Basanga soccer team at a game in the Democratic Republic of the Congo between Bena Tshadi and visitors Basanga was struck by a fork bolt of lightning, killing them all instantly

1993: Michael A. Shingle decker Jr. was killed almost instantly when he and a friend were struck by a pickup truck while lying flat on the yellow dividing line of a two-lane highway in Polk, Pennsylvania. They were copying a daredevil stunt from the movie The Program. Marco Birkhimer died of a similar accident while performing the same stunt in Route 206 of Borden town, New Jersey

2006: Steve Irwin, an Australian television personality and naturalist known as the Crocodile Hunter, died when his heart was impaled by a short-tail stingray barb while filming a documentary entitled “Ocean’s Deadliest” in Queensland‘s Great Barrier Ree

1993: Garry Hoy, a 38-year old lawyer and a senior partner at the Holden Day Wilson Law firm in Toronto, Canada, fell to his death on July 9, 1993, after he threw himself against a window on the 24th floor of theToronto-Dominion Centre in an attempt to prove to a group of visiting Law Students that the glass was “unbreakable.” His first attempt failed to damage the glass at all. On his second attempt the glass still didn’t break but instead actually popped out of the window frame, and he fell over 300 feet to his death

2003: Timothy Tread well, an American environmentalist who had lived in the wilderness among bears for thirteen summers in a remote region in Alaska, and his girlfriend Amie Huguenard were killed and partially consumed by a bear. An audio recording of their deaths was captured on a video camera which had been turned on at the beginning of the incident. Werner Herzog‘s documentary film, Grizzly Man, discusses Tread well and his death.

2008: Gerald Mellin, a U.K. businessman, committed suicide by tying one end of a rope around his neck and the other to a tree. He then hopped into his Aston Martin DB7 and drove down a main road in Swansea until the rope decapitated him. He supposedly did this as an act of revenge against his ex-wife for leaving him


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