Darwin Award 1996
JUST WHEN YOU THOUGHT YOU HEARD IT ALL
You all know about the Darwin Awards - it's an annual honor given to the person
who did the gene pool the biggest service by killing himself in the most
extraordinarily stupid way. Last year winner was a fellow who was killed by a
coke machine which toppled over on top of him as he was attempting to tip a
free coke out of it.
THIS YEAR NOMINEE IS:
The Arizona Highway Patrol came upon a pile of smoldering metal imbedded in the
side of a cliff rising above the apex of a curve. The wreckage resembled the
site of an airplane crash, but it was a car. The type of car was unidentifiable
at the scene. The lab finally figured out what had happened.
It seems that a guy had some JATO bottles ( Jet Assisted Take Off ), actually a
solid fuel rocket used to give heavy military transport planes extra "push" for
taking off from short airfields. He had driven his Chevy Impala into the desert
and found a long straight stretch of road. He attached the JATO unit to his
car, jumped in, built up some speed, and fired off the JATO!
The facts as best could be defined are that:
- The operator of the 1967 Impala hit the JATO ignition at a distance of
approximately 3.0 miles from the crash site. This was determined by the
scorched and melted asphalt at that location.
- The JATO would have reached maximum thrust within 5 seconds, causing the
chevy to reach speeds of 350 MPH ( 560 KMPH ). JATO thrust would have continued
for 20-25 seconds, insuring maintenance of that speed for that time.
- The driver, soon pilot, would have experienced G-forces usually reserved for
dig-fighting F-14 jocks under full afterburners, causing him to become
insignificant for the remainder of the vent. The automobile remained on the
straight highway for about 2.5 miles ( 15-20 seconds ) before the driver
applied and completely melted brakes, blowing tires and leaving thick rubber
marks on the road surface, to no avail, then becoming airborne for an
additional 1.4 miles before impacting the cliff face at a height of 125 feet,
leaving a blackened crater 3 feet deep in the rock face.
- Few of the drivers remains were recovered. Small fragments of bone, teeth,
and hair were extracted from the crater, and a fingernail and bone shards were
removed from a piece of debris believed to be a portion of the steering wheel.
But did he wear a set belt?
The Politically Incorrect Collection