Charles Darwin at a green chalkboard.

2004 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.

Tree vs. Man
2004 Darwin Award Winner
Confirmed True by Darwin

(21 December 2004, Georgia) It looked at first like a bizarre traffic accident. Smoke rose from the charred remains of a large tree that had toppled onto a smoldering pickup truck. The body of a man, burned beyond recognition, was found inside the truck. Investigators were puzzled. How could the truck have collided with a tree behind a house? And why did the tree fall onto the truck instead of away from it? And what had started the fire?

As the pieces of the puzzle fell into place, it became clear that the dead man was the victim of his own good deed. Reggie, 47, had offered to remove a tree behind his girlfriend's house. He borrowed his father's pickup truck, apparently in the belief that he could yank out the bottom of the tree, which would then, cartoon-like, fall away from the truck. He tied the truck to the tree and floored the accelerator.

The uprooted tree, pulled in the direction of the force, toppled onto the truck, crushing the cab and trapping Reggie. The still-running engine eventually overheated, starting a grass fire which ignited the truck's gas tank, turning it into a fireball that spread to the tree.

Thankfully for Reggie, police determined that he was probably dead before the truck caught fire.

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Submitted by: JM
Reference: AP

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