Despite being an overall happy individual, I spend much of my time pondering death. Death lies in the highest level of life’s uncertainties and stings the heart the most when it happens to a loved one. We all have taken comfort in assuming that we will meet the standard life expectancy of being covered in wrinkles and age spots when we go… but then comes along the FINAL DESTINATION franchise to remind us that we are all horribly wrong. We could be hit by an ambulance. We could be shot in the face with a nail gun. Or we could all just fall out of a window. Of course, it is not healthy to live in fear because, well, that wouldn’t be living. But these five real-life tragic and highly unusual accidents may convince some of us to never leave the house and avoid fire, water, and sharp objects at all costs…
Death By Javelin
In 1999, Liverpool College physical education teacher Jon Desborough was teaching an athletic course one day when he is presumed to have lost his balance as he leapt to grab hold of a javelin. The pointed end of the javelin stabbed the 41 year-old teacher in the eye and entered his brain. Desborough, who has married with two daughters, spent the next month in a coma before being relocated to an intensive therapy unit of the hospital due to a chest infection. Shortly thereafter, he died in his sleep from medical complications caused by the injuries inflicted by the javelin.
Death By Lava Lamp
I used to be mesmerized by the many lava lamps on the shelves of Spencer’s Gifts as a teenager during the resurgence of psychedelic trends. I always wanted to have one— or several— in my bedroom… until this 2004 fatal disaster ruined my dream. In Kent, Washington, 24 year-old Phillip Quinn was, in a sense, killed in the heat of the moment by his lava lamp. For those like Quinn who may not have a conceptual understanding of the lava lamp, it consists of balls of wax that float in a liquid within a traditionally glass cylinder. The rising and falling of the balls of wax is caused when the lava lamp is heated by a bulb located at the base of the lamp. According to the coroner in this case, Quinn had likely been standing over the stove while heating his lava lamp when it exploded, a shard of glass from the lamp piercing his heart causing him to bleed to death.
Death By Shallow Water
One winter morning in July 2001, New Zealander Peter John Robinson stepped outside the back door of his home to feed his kitty, Piper. The concrete ramp leading downward to Piper’s dishes was covered in frost. Poor Robinson slipped, hit his head on the ramp, and landed face first in the cat’s water bowl which was filled only about 1.5 inches deep. Peter’s mother, Gill Robinson, had only left their home for 15 minutes when the incident occurred. It is believed by the coroner that the head injury incurred by contact with the ramp knocked Robinson unconscious and he drowned to death in the shallow water. The irony? Peter Robinson was a former swimming coach.
Death By Fire Hydrant
In what Police Investigator Eddie Bermudez described as a “million-to-one chance,” 24 year-old Humberto Hernandez died after a deadly blow to the head by an airborne fire hydrant. On a Thursday evening in Oakland, CA, a moving SUV ran into the fire hydrant, the water pressure breaking the hydrant and causing it to launch into the air and hit Hernandez who was walking with his wife. The hydrant slammed into the back of Hernandez’s head, ricocheting off and plowing through a fence another 20 feet from the vehicle. Hernandez died instantly at the scene, his wife unmarked. According to Bermudez, had Hernandez even stepped one inch forward or backward, “he would not have gotten hit.”
Death By Explosion… Caused By Horse
Explosions are not exactly uncommon disasters… but this may be the only one that you will ever know to be caused by a horse. In 2012, veterinarian Erica Marshall was treating a horse in a hyperbaric aquatic chamber at Kentucky Equine Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation Center. The chamber is a cylinder that measures 12 feet in diameter and relies on high levels of compressed oxygen to help stabilize horses with severe injuries. While being treated, the horse became spooked for reasons unknown and kicked a hole in the wall of the chamber, sparking an explosion that collapsed the building and killed Marshall who was monitoring the oxygen pressure from a nearby room.