Charles Darwin at a green chalkboard.

1999 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.

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1999 Darwin Award Winner Unconfirmed by Darwin

(Illinois) This story has an ironic twist. Jim had an elderly mother whose driver's license was about to expire. She didn't want to lose her license, even though her response time was so slow that Jim knew she shouldn't be driving.

He decided not to argue with his mother, but to simply take her to an Illinois Driver Testing Facility, where she would undoubtedly fail the road test. And that would be that.

On the day of the test, he picked her up and drove her to the testing facility. It was a warm and sunny day. When their turn was called, he escorted his mother to the car and helped her inside. The driving evaluator began to climb into the passenger side.

At this point, Jim did something foolhardy.

He walked directly behind the car, and stood about 10 feet away from a brick wall. Standing behind a car is something that one should avoid even when there is a known GOOD driver in the car. His mother started the engine, stepped on the gas, and accidentally put the car into gear.

Reverse gear.

The evaluator suffered a broken arm. Poor Jim was not so lucky. He expired a few days later from internal injuries sustained in the accident. The Darwin Award goes not only to Jim, but also to his mother, who avoided passing on her own poor genes by killing her son. Perhaps Mother does know best.

This happened to my wife's cousin's husband Jim. We attended the funeral, but Jim's mother did not. To this day, she does not feel responsible for the accident, and says that it was Jim's own fault. © 1994 - 2004
Submitted by: Steve Wall

Reference: Chicago Tribune, Daily Herald
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