The Darwin Awards

2002 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.

What's That Sound?
2002 Darwin Award Winner
Confirmed by Darwin

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(2 August 2002, Kansas) An Olathe man was struck and killed by a train after his vehicle broke down on Interstate 35. His attempts to repair his car had failed, so he stepped away from the busy freeway to call for help.

As luck would have it, he chose to stand on the train tracks paralleling the road. When the train engineer spotted him standing on the tracks, the man was holding a cell phone to one ear and cupping his hand to the other ear to block the noise of the oncoming locomotive.

Submitted by: Sharol
Reference: Kansas City Star & TV news

Music + Trains = Bad Mix

Authorities are at a loss as to how to prevent train deaths. In Long Island, New York, engineers formed a support group, as every one, without exception, has involuntarily killed someone. The baffled engineers wonder how anyone could be unaware that a train weighing hundreds of tons has too much inertia to stop on a dime -- or even a football field.

(3 November 2006, Michigan) Death by train is almost too common to merit a Darwin Award. Few people are unaware of the three most important facts about trains: 1) Trains cannot stop quickly. 2) Trains cannot swerve. 3) In any collision, the train always wins.

Forgetting these rules, a 20-year old man was walking down the railroad tracks in Comstock Township, near Kalamazoo, Michigan. This, in and of itself, is not even close to Darwinian stupidity. Trains are loud, and they announce their approach from quite a distance, allowing ample time to clear their path. However, our Darwin contender made sure the odds were in the train's favor by wearing a pair of headphones with the music turned up loud. Louder than the train's whistle, apparently.

The news report didn't mention what song he was listening to, but I'm guessing it was "Don't Look Back" by Boston. Not looking back sealed his fate. Despite several loud blasts of the horn by the train engineer, our Darwin contender kept strolling down the rails in musical bliss, until Amtrak removed him from the gene pool. Reference: Kalamazoo Gazette Guest Writer:

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