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.

Dive to Death
1998 Darwin Award Winner
Confirmed True by Darwin

(4 July, 1998, Texas) If you fly over Houston, you will see the sky blue rectangles of countless backyard swimming pools. A Houston man joined the club, and purchased his own above ground pool on June 21, 1998. He selected the location, and the pool was installed by an independent contractor a few days later. He rated all aspects of the installation as "excellent."

A few weeks later, the pool owner was swimming with his friends and enjoying an alcoholic Fourth of July haze in the humid Houston heat. In an unprecedented show of bravado, the man decided to climb onto his patio roof and dive into his pool.

The man was six feet tall. His pool, typical for an above ground pool, was four feet deep. So when his head hit the bottom, his legs were still sticking two feet out of the water. The dive broke his neck.

He and his family sued on the grounds of faulty installation and inappropriate location. The same installation the man had rated as "excellent" in the location he himself had selected.

The lawsuit was changed to a wrongful death claim when the pool owner passed away in December. Next time you fly over Houston and see those miles of swimming pools, remember the story of this man's last miscalculated dive. © 1994 - 2022

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