The Darwin Awards

2014 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.

Man Customizes Car Ignition Sequence To His Peril
2014 Darwin Award Winner
Confirmed True by Darwin

(18 February 2014, United Kingdom) Scott McKimmie's purple Volkswagen Cabriolet would not be considered roadworthy by most people, but to a handy mechanic a flaw can be considered a security feature. Early on Tuesday morning outside The Phoenix pub in Corby, the 39-year-old started the 1998 Cabriolet in his usual unusual way -- he put the car in gear and reached beneath the hood (the 'bonnet') and touched two wires together to create an ignition spark.

Unfortunately Scott failed to remember that he had not set the handbrake. To make matters worse he had modified the purple VW to run with a fast idle to prevent stalling. As black wire touched red wire the engine turned over and started, and the car lurched forward and knocked him over. Due to the fast idle the vehicle continued on its merry way, inflicting 36 "separate injuries" on the unfortunate man as -- like the Duracell/Energizer bunny -- it kept going and going.

As demonstrated in a police investigation video shown to the court, the engine modifications allowed the car to move forward without stalling when it was in first, second or third gear! Coroner Anne Pember recorded a verdict of accidental death with this summary: "It is quite clear that the cause of this tragedy was the unusual starting method Mr. McKimmie used to start his car."

ORIGINAL SUBMISSION

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DarwinAwards.com © 1994 - 2017
Submitted by: Adam Richmond-Gordon
Reference: bbc.co.uk and www.northantstelegraph.co.uk

What Readers Think

Venus Zadog (FB) -- "He died in a past life when he was cranking the engine
on his Model T and failed to engage the emergency brake.
Some people never learn!"
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