The Darwin Awards

2001 Darwin Awards

Next Prev Random Honoring Charles Darwin, the father of evolution, Darwin Awards commemorate those who improve our gene pool--by removing themselves from it.

The Unkindest Cut
2001 Darwin Award Winner
Confirmed True by Darwin

"Improper use of pruning shears can dull the blades."

(30 May 2001, Hillsboro, Oregon) Ismael, 25, was driving a Toyota truck when he lost control of the vehicle, which careened into a mailbox, collided with a utility pole, and flipped onto its side, knocking down high-voltage power lines in the process. At that point, Ishmael climbed from the truck and into the path of evolution.

He surveyed the situation with a pair of pruning shears in his hand. Police speculate that he reached up to clip the snaking, arcing cable lying across his truck, and was electrocuted when the shears touched the 7500-volt cable. A medical examination found that the current travelled across his heart and out his left foot. He was found lying motionless, face-down on the power line, with a pair of pruning shears in his hands.

His dazed passenger survived, only to be arrested on an unrelated warrant.

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Submitted by: Douglas Stunkard
Reference: Patrick Harrington of The Oregonian

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