Charles Darwin at a green chalkboard.

1998 Darwin Awards

Honoring Charles Darwin, the father of evolution, Darwin Awards commemorate those who improve our gene pool--by removing themselves from it in the most spectacular way possible.

Never Too Old for a Darwin Award
1998 Darwin Award Winner
Confirmed True by Darwin

(28 April 1998) Bob Herschler, 77, of Olympia, WA, died from burns suffered last week after he placed a smoldering pipe in his shirt pocket. The pipe ignited a book of matches and soon Bob's clothing was ablaze.

Family members quickly extinguished the fire, but not before he suffered third-degree burns to his chest and abdomen. The Thurston County resident died at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle of pneumonia brought on by his burns.

(31 March 1998) In a related story, the life of Reiva Nix, a 67-year-old grandmother living in Egdewood, TX, was claimed in a tragic accident on March 31. She was cleaning her tennis shoes with gasoline when a nearby candle ignited the shoes which Reiva was still wearing.

Alone at the time of the accident, she ran next door for help, and her neighbor extinguished the fire with a water hose. She died from burn wounds at 2AM at the Parkland Hospital in Dallas.

Investigators noted that her flammable 65% polyester clothing contributed to the blaze. Chief Corbett said several people have told him they clean their shoes with gasoline. He cautioned others to be careful when using gasoline in any way. © 1994 - 2022

Submitted by Doug Klunder, Beverly Denig Jones

Reference: Seattle Times, Van Zandt News Wills Point TX

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