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2002 Personal Accounts
The Darwin Awards salutes the spirit portrayed in the following personal accounts, submitted by loyal (and sometimes reluctant) readers. Next Prev Random


Bridge Work
2002 Personal Account

(April 2002, Florida) My father tells this story about one of his construction sites. The old bridge was still standing, but falling apart at the seams. My father's construction company was responsible for removing it and building a new bridge over the small river. The whole area was plastered with "Road Closed" signs, and barricaded to prevent through-traffic.

One night, two women encountered the blockade but instead of taking the detour, they assessed the bridge and decided that it looked okay to cross. They hopped out of their car, moved the barricades, returned to the car, and started to drive across the decrepit bridge.

They did not make it more than half-way.

According to the accident report, they bumped across a few "potholes" in the bridge (which were holes passing through in the roadbed) until finally the car jammed in a hole, tilted and immobile no matter how they revved the engine. The driver's door was against the rail, but the passenger could and did open her door and step out of the car... and disappear. The driver also climbed out the passenger side, and likewise plunged through the hole in the bridge, falling ten feet to land beside the passenger in the river below.

Both women were now standing in waist-deep water, and had to choose between walking to shore or swimming to the barge anchored further out in the river. Inexplicably they chose to make for the barge. The river had been dredged deeper to accommodate the construction barge, and so, before the passenger could reach the barge... she disappeared, this time underwater.

The driver soon followed.

They both slid under the barge, and the passenger drowned. The driver was able to swim to the surface, and she later sued the construction company for wrongful death. The matter was settled out of court, but in my opinion the death was due to Darwinian stupidity. The surviving driver earns an At-Risk Survivor. © 1994 - 2020

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