The Darwin Awards

2010 At-Risk Survivor

Next Prev Random At-Risk Survivors have misadventures that stop short of the ultimate sacrifice. Nevertheless we salute the spirit of their colossal blunders with an Honorable Mention. Better luck next time!

Flying Door
2010 At-Risk Survivor
Unconfirmed by Darwin

(military personal account, at-risk survivor, vehicle vignette.)

When I was in the Marines, a bottom-enlisted and an NCO were required to stand 24-hour watch together. One evening I showed up for duty to find the NCO limping, and covered with dozens of fresh scabs. He was reluctant to reveal what caused his injuries until I promised to not tell. I lived with that promise for thirty years, until now, I hear of the Darwin Awards and learn that he was a classic example of an At-Risk Survivor.

This NCO had an NCO friend we'll call Dutch, and these guys would do just about anything for a laugh. The two NCO's ended up working together in the squadron truck, and had an idea good for a few laughs. Now, Dutch was possessed of great upper body strength, he had been a Greco-Roman wrestler in high school and was an active weight lifter. Dutch would put his arm outside the open window, hang on to the door under his armpit, and when hia buddy made a left turn Dutch would open the door and swing out with the centrifugal force of the turn, riding on the door under his arm. Good fun, huh?

These two were having a few laughs with their flying door routine, all well and good, until one turn brought the open door too close to a fire hydrant. The hydrant caught the bottom corner and the door rebounded, slamming shut and sendingDutch sailing across the vinyl bench seat and slamming into his friend with enough force to knock open the driver's door and eject the driver from the vehicle!

Dutch managed to recover the wheel and prevent the NCO from being run down. Both men were in pain for weeks, and this being the military, both spent long hours in extra duty. After all, they were risking US Government Property.


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Reference: Personal Account by Carin Gleason

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