The Darwin Awards

2015 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 in the most spectacular way possible.

Zap!titude
2015 Darwin Award Winner
Confirmed True by Darwin

(14 January 2015, New Zealand) Finally some rest for Matthew Smith, 26, killed while trying to silence noisy late-night music at the Whangaruru Beachfront Motor Camp in Oakura.

Loud teenage tunes blared out from the neighboring caravan for hours, making sleep impossible! Half an hour after midnight our exasperated Darwin Award winner, a sound and lighting technician, set out to sort out the problem with a metal Leatherman tool.

The coroner determined that Mr Smith disconnected the power cord from the caravan, then tried to sever the plug from the cord whilst the other end was still connected to the campground power box. At 3AM he was found dead with the Leatherman tool fused to his hand, along with a half-cut power cord.

Ironically, the rowdy teenagers had battery-powered lamps and speakers so the loss of power was not immediately investigated. The person who found Matthew nearly became another Darwin Award winner, received a nasty shock upon touching the smoking body! This person then went on to unplug the live cord !! from the power box before calling emergency services.

Police were satisfied that there was no foul play. The power authority was satisfied with the condition of the campground power source. A Ground Fault Circuit Interruptor (GFCI or RCD) would have saved Matthew's life, but such are required only at new campsite installations. The coroner recommended RCD's be installed at all New Zealand caravan parks to protect people from harmful electric shocks.

"The reality here is that the disconnection should have been at the power box, not the camper van," said Fire Brigade Deputy Chief Gallagher.

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Reader Comments:
"The offending music was from the AC/DC album High Voltage," -P.Hornzz
"He had a short fuse." -J.A.Z.Pérez

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DarwinAwards.com © 1994 - 2018
Submitted by: Ross, L. Milham.
Reference: NZHerald.co.nz, Stuff.co.nz

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