User:Nonexyst/List of unusual deaths

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The leading causes of death globally are now diseases of the circulation and lungs.[1] The list below highlights some of the more unusual causes of death in history.

This is a list of unusual deaths. This list includes unique or extremely rare circumstances of death recorded throughout history, noted as being unusual by multiple sources. Some of the deaths are mythological or are considered to be unsubstantiated by contemporary researchers. Oxford Dictionaries defines the word "unusual" as "not habitually or commonly occurring or done" and "remarkable or interesting because different from or better than others."[2]

Some other articles also cover deaths that might be considered unusual or ironic, including List of entertainers who died during a performance, List of inventors killed by their own inventions, List of association footballers who died while playing, List of professional cyclists who died during a race and the List of political self-immolations.

Antiquity[edit]

  • c. 620 BC: Draco, Athenian law-maker, was smothered to death by gifts of cloaks and hats showered upon him by appreciative citizens at a theatre on Aegina.[3]
  • 564 BC: Arrhichion of Phigalia, Greek pankratiast, caused his own death by accident during the Olympic finals. Held by his unidentified opponent in a stranglehold and unable to free himself, Arrichion's trainer shouted "What a fine funeral if you do not submit at Olympia!" Arrichion then kicked his opponent with his right foot while casting his body to the left, causing his opponent so much pain that he made the sign of defeat to the umpires, while at the same time breaking Arrichion's own neck as the other fighter was still strangleholding him. Since the opponent had conceded defeat, Arrichion was proclaimed victor posthumously.[4][5]
  • 455 BC: Aeschylus, the great Athenian author of tragedies. Valerius Maximus wrote that he was killed by a tortoise dropped by an eagle that had mistaken his head for a rock suitable for shattering the shell of the reptile. Pliny, in his Naturalis Historiæ, adds that Aeschylus had been staying outdoors to avert a prophecy that he would be killed by a falling object.[6][7]
  • 401 BC: Mithridates, a soldier who embarrassed his king, Artaxerxes II, by boasting of killing his rival, Cyrus the Younger, was executed by scaphism. The king's physician, Ctesias, reported that he survived the insect torture for 17 days.[8][9]
  • 270 BC: Philitas of Cos, Greek intellectual, is said by Athenaeus to have studied arguments and erroneous word usage so intensely that he wasted away and starved to death.[10] British classicist Alan Cameron speculates that Philitas died from a wasting disease which his contemporaries joked was caused by his pedantry.[11]
  • 210 BC: Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China, died after ingesting several pills of mercury in the belief that it would grant him eternal life. His eunuch courtiers concealed the death while they plotted the succession and used carts of fish to disguise the smell of the corpse. He was then buried in a fantastic tomb which is still being excavated. His artifacts and treasures include the famous Terracotta Army which was created for him to rule from his grave.[12][13][14]
  • 162 BC: Eleazar Maccabeus was crushed to death at the Battle of Beth Zechariah by a war elephant that he believed to be carrying Seleucid King Antiochus V. Charging into battle, Eleazar rushed underneath the elephant and thrust a spear into its belly, whereupon it fell dead on top of him.[15]
  • 212 AD: Lucius Fabius Cilo, a Roman senator of the 2nd century, "...choked...by a single hair in a draught of milk".[16]
  • 258 AD: According to tradition, Saint Lawrence of Rome was roasted alive on a giant grill, during the persecution of Valerian.[17][18]
  • 336 AD: Arius, presbyter of Alexandria, is said to have died of sudden diarrhea followed by copious hemorrhaging and anal expulsion of the intestines while he walked across the imperial forum in Constantinople. He may have been poisoned.[19]
  • 415 AD: Hypatia of Alexandria, Greek mathematician, philosopher and intellectual, often called the last librarian of the Library of Alexandria, though it was destroyed long before her time, was murdered by a Christian mob that ripped off her skin with sharp seashells. Various types of shells have been named, including clams, oysters and abalones. Other sources claim tiles or pottery shards were used.[20]
Greek intellectual Philitas of Cos, said to have studied arguments and erroneous word usage so intensely that he wasted away and starved to death.[21] 
Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China who sought immortality but died an untimely death which was concealed by his courtiers using smelly fish. 

Middle Ages[edit]

An illustration of Charles II of Navarre, burned alive when brandy-soaked bandages, in which he was wrapped, were set on fire.

Renaissance[edit]

  • 1518: In the Dancing Plague of 1518 a woman (and eventually a league of 400 people) uncontrollably danced for a month causing dozens of participants to die of stroke and exhaustion. The reason for this occurrence is still unclear.[34][dead link]
  • 1552: Henry Pert a gentleman, of Welbeck, Nottinghamshire, died when he stretched his bow to its full extent and the arrow got lodged. While he was leaning over to look at it, the arrow released.[35]
  • 1556: Pietro Aretino, an Italian poet, satirist and pornographer, is said to have died by suffocation caused by uncontrollable laughter.[36]
  • 1567: Hans Steininger, the burgomaster of Brunau, Austria, died when he broke his neck by tripping over his own beard.[37] The beard, which was 4.5 feet (1.4 meters) long at the time, was usually kept rolled up in a leather pouch.[38]
  • 1667: James Betts died from asphyxiation after being sealed in a cupboard by Elizabeth Spencer, at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge in an attempt to hide him from her father, John Spencer.[39][40][41]
Pietro Aretino, who died from uncontrollable laughter 

18th century[edit]

  • 1771: Adolf Frederick, King of Sweden, died of digestion problems on 12 February 1771 after having consumed a meal of lobster, caviar, sauerkraut, smoked herring and champagne, topped off with 14 servings of his favourite dessert: hetvägg served in a bowl of hot milk.[44] He is thus remembered by Swedish schoolchildren as "the king who ate himself to death."[45]
  • 1782: Mrs Fitzherbert died from laughter. On a Wednesday evening she had seen Mr. Bannister at The Beggar's Opera, and laughed with the rest of the audience upon his comical entrance. She was unable to stop laughing, and had to leave the theater. She continued laughing until her death on Friday morning.[46]
  • 1783: James Otis, Jr., the American Revolutionary, "often mentioned to friends and relatives that ... he hoped his death would come from a bolt of lightning." His hope was fulfilled on 23 May 1783 when lightning struck the chimney of a friend's house in whose doorway he was standing.[47]
  • 1794: John Kendrick, an American sea captain and explorer, was killed in the Hawaiian Islands when a fellow trading ship mistakenly used a loaded cannon to fire a salute to Kendrick's vessel.[48]

19th century[edit]

  • 1816: Gouverneur Morris, an American statesman, died after sticking a piece of whale bone through his urinary tract to relieve a blockage.[49][50]
  • 1830: William Huskisson, statesman and financier, was run over by a locomotive (Stephenson's Rocket), at the public opening of the world's first mechanically powered passenger railway, becoming the first person ever to die in a railway accident.[51]
  • 1834: David Douglas, Scottish botanist, fell into a pit trap where he was trampled by a wild bull.[52][53]
  • 1871: Clement Vallandigham, a lawyer and Ohio politician, accidentally shot himself demonstrating how a victim may possibly have shot himself while in the process of drawing a weapon from a kneeling position. Though the defendant, Thomas McGehan, was ultimately cleared, Vallandigham died from his wound.[54]
Clement Vallandigham - died after demonstrating how a victim may have accidentally shot himself 

20th century[edit]

1920s[edit]

  • 1920: Ray "Chappie" Chapman, shortstop for the Cleveland Indians baseball team, was killed when a submarine ball thrown by Carl Mays hit him in the temple. Chapman collapsed at the plate, and died about 12 hours later. He remains the only major league baseball player killed by a pitched ball.[55]
  • 1920: Dan Andersson, a Swedish author, died of cyanide poisoning while staying at Hotel Hellman in Stockholm. The hotel staff had failed to clear the room after using hydrogen cyanide against bed bugs.[56]
  • 1920: Alexander I, King of the Hellenes, was taking a walk in the Royal Gardens, when his dog was attacked by a monkey. The King attempted to defend his dog, receiving bites from both the monkey and its mate.[57] The diseased animals' bites caused sepsis and Alexander died three weeks later.
  • 1923: Frank Hayes, a jockey at Belmont Park, New York, died of a heart attack during his first race. His mount finished first with his body still attached to the saddle, and he was only discovered to be dead when the horse's owner went to congratulate him.[58]
  • 1923: George Herbert, 5th Earl of Carnarvon, died allegedly because of the so-called King Tut's Curse after a mosquito bite on his face, which he cut while shaving, became seriously infected with erysipelas, leading to blood poisoning and eventually pneumonia.[59][60]
Isadora Duncan, ballerina, died when her long scarf, caught on the wheel of a car, broke her neck.
  • 1925: Zishe (Siegmund) Breitbart, a circus strongman and Jewish folklore hero, died after demonstrating he could drive a spike through five one-inch (2.54 cm) thick oak boards using only his bare hands. He accidentally pierced his knee and the rusted spike caused an infection which led to fatal blood poisoning.[61]
  • 1926: Phillip McClean, 16, from Queensland, Australia became the only person documented to have been killed by a cassowary. After encountering the bird on their family property near Mossman in April,[62] McClean and his brother decided to kill it with clubs. When McClean struck the bird it knocked him down, then kicked him in the neck, opening a 1.25 cm (0.5 in) long cut in one of his main blood vessels. Though the boy managed to get back on his feet and run away, he collapsed a short while later and died from the hemorrhage.[63]
  • 1926: Harry Houdini, the famous American escape artist, was punched in the stomach by an amateur boxer. Though this had been done with Houdini's permission, complications from this injury may have caused him to die days later, on 31 October 1926. It was later determined that Houdini died of a ruptured appendix,[64] though it is contested as to whether or not the punches actually caused the appendicitis.[65]
  • 1927: Isadora Duncan, dancer, died of a broken neck when her long scarf caught on the wheel of a car in which she was a passenger.[66]

1930s[edit]

  • 1930: William Kogut, an inmate on death row at San Quentin, committed suicide with a pipe bomb created from several packs of playing cards and the hollow leg from his cot. At the time, the red ink in playing cards contained flammable nitrocellulose, which when wet can create an explosive mixture. Kogut used the heater in his cell to activate the bomb.[67]
  • 1932: Eben Byers, an American golfer and industrialist, died from multiple cancers caused by drinking more than 1400 bottles of a radioactive "health potion" called Radithor.[68]
Sherwood Anderson, who died after swallowing a toothpick
  • 1933: Michael Malloy, a homeless man, was murdered by five men in a plot to collect on life insurance policies they had purchased. After surviving multiple poisonings, intentional exposure, and being struck by a car, Malloy succumbed to gassing.[69]

1940s[edit]

  • 1941: Sherwood Anderson, writer, died of peritonitis after swallowing a toothpick at a party.[70]
  • 1944: Inventor and chemist Thomas Midgley, Jr. accidentally strangled himself with the cord of a pulley-operated mechanical bed of his own design.[71]
  • 1945: Scientist Harry K. Daghlian, Jr. accidentally dropped a brick of tungsten carbide onto a sphere of plutonium (known as the Demon core) while working on the Manhattan Project. This caused the plutonium to come to criticality; Daghlian died of radiation poisoning, becoming the first person to die in a criticality accident.[72]
  • 1946: Louis Slotin, chemist and physicist, died of radiation poisoning after being exposed to lethal amounts of ionizing radiation from the same core that killed Harry K. Daghlian, Jr. The core went critical after a screwdriver he was using to separate the halves of the spherical beryllium reflector slipped.[73]
  • 1947: The Collyer Brothers, extreme cases of compulsive hoarders, were found dead in their home in New York. The younger brother, Langley, was crushed to death when he accidentally triggered one of his own booby traps that had consisted of a large pile of objects, books, and newspapers. His blind and paralyzed brother Homer, who had depended on Langley for care, died of starvation some days later.[74]

1950s[edit]

A view of the campsite, the location of the Dyatlov Pass incident, as the rescuers found it on February 26, 1959. The tent had been cut open from inside, and most of the skiers had fled in socks or barefoot.

1960s[edit]

  • 1960: In the Nedelin catastrophe, more than 100 Soviet rocket technicians and officials died when a switch was accidentally turned on, causing the second stage engines of a rocket to ignite, directly above the fully fueled first stage. The casualties included Red Army Marshal Nedelin, who was sitting just 40 meters (130 ft) away overseeing launch preparations.[77]
  • 1960: Inejiro Asanuma, 61, the head of the Japanese Socialist Party, was stabbed to death with a wakizashi sword by extreme rightist Otoya Yamaguchi during a televised political rally.[78]
  • 1960: Alan Stacey, Formula One race driver, died in a crash during the Belgian Grand Prix when a bird flew into his face, causing him to lose control.[79]
  • 1961: U.S. Army Specialists John A. Byrnes and Richard Leroy McKinley and Navy Electrician's Mate Richard C. Legg were killed by a water hammer explosion during maintenance on the SL-1 nuclear reactor in Idaho.[80][81][82][83]
  • 1961: Valentin Bondarenko, a Soviet cosmonaut trainee, died after suffering third-degree burns from a flash fire in the pure oxygen environment of a training simulator.[84]
  • 1966: Worth Bingham, son of Barry Bingham, Sr., died when a surfboard, lying atop the back of his convertible, hit a parked car, swung around, and broke his neck.[85]
USSR postage stamp honoring Vladimir Komarov, the first person to die during a space mission
  • 1966: Skydiver Nick Piantanida died from the effects of uncontrolled decompression four months after an attempt to break the world record for the highest parachute jump. During his third attempt, his face mask came loose (or he possibly opened it by mistake), causing loss of air pressure and irreversible brain damage.[86][87]
  • 1967: Gus Grissom, Ed White, and Roger B. Chaffee, NASA astronauts, died when a flash fire began in their pure oxygen environment during a training exercise inside the Apollo 1 spacecraft. The spacecraft's escape hatch could not be opened because it was designed to seal shut under pressure.[88]
  • 1967: Cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov became the first person to die during a space mission after the parachute of his capsule failed to deploy following re-entry.[89]

1970s[edit]

  • 1977: Tom Pryce, a Formula One driver at the 1977 South African Grand Prix, was killed when he was struck in the face by a track marshal's fire extinguisher. The marshal, Frederik Jansen van Vuuren, was running across the track to attend to Pryce's team-mate's burning car when he was struck and killed by Pryce's car. Van Vuuren himself was torn in half as the car ploughed into him at a speed exceeding 270 km/h (170 mph).[95]
  • 1978: Georgi Markov, a Bulgarian dissident, was assassinated in London with a specially modified umbrella that fired a metal pellet with a small cavity full of ricin into his calf.[96]
  • 1978: Janet Parker, a British medical photographer, died of smallpox in 1978, ten months after the disease was eradicated in the wild, when a researcher at the laboratory where Parker worked accidentally released some virus into the air of the building. Parker is the last known smallpox fatality.[97]
  • 1978: Kurt Gödel, the Austrian/American logician and mathematician, died of starvation when his wife was hospitalized. Gödel suffered from extreme paranoia and refused to eat food prepared by anyone else.[98]
  • 1979: Robert Williams, a worker at a Ford Motor Co. plant, was the first known human to be killed by a robot,[99] after the arm of a one-ton factory robot hit him in the head.[100]
  • 1979: John Bowen, a 20-year-old from Nashua, New Hampshire, was attending a half-time show at a New York Jets football game at Shea Stadium on 9 December. During an event featuring custom-made remote control flying machines, a 40-pound model plane shaped like a lawnmower accidentally dived into the stands, striking Bowen and another spectator, causing severe head injuries. Bowen died in the hospital four days later.[101][102]
  • 1979: Nitaro Ito, a candidate for Japan's House of Representatives, died in an attempt to gain sympathy during his election campaign. Having persuaded one of his employees to punch him in the face, Ito then stabbed himself in the leg. He hit an artery causing him to bleed to death before any aid could be given.[47]

1980s[edit]

  • 1981: David Allen Kirwan, a 24-year-old, died from third-degree burns after attempting to rescue a friend's dog from the 200°F (93°C) water in Celestine Pool, a hot spring at Yellowstone National Park on 20 July 1981.[103][104]
  • 1981: Boris Sagal, a film director, died while shooting the TV miniseries World War III when he walked into the tail rotor blade of a helicopter and was nearly decapitated.[105][106]
  • 1981: Kenji Urada, a Japanese factory worker, was killed by a malfunctioning robot he was working on at a Kawasaki plant in Japan. The robot's arm pushed him into a grinding machine, killing him.[107]
  • 1982: Actor Vic Morrow and child-actor Myca Dinh Le (age 7) were decapitated by a rotating helicopter blade, and child-actress Renee Shin-Yi Chen (age 6) was crushed by a helicopter during filming of Twilight Zone: The Movie.[108]
  • 1982: David Grundman was killed near Lake Pleasant, Arizona while shooting at cacti with his shotgun. After he fired several shots at a 26 ft (8 m) tall Saguaro Cactus from extremely close range, a 4 ft (1.2 m) limb of the cactus detached and fell on him, crushing him.[109][110][106]
  • 1982: Navy Lieutenant George M. Prior, 30, died in Arlington, Virginia from a severe allergic reaction to Daconil, a fungicide used on a golf course he attended. He had unwittingly ingested the substance through his habit of carrying the tee in his mouth when playing.[111]
Tennessee Williams who died when he choked on an eyedrop bottle-cap
  • 1983: Four divers and a tender were killed on the Byford Dolphin semi-submersible, when a decompression chamber explosively decompressed from 9 atm to 1 atm in a fraction of a second. The diver nearest the chamber opening was torn apart before his remains were ejected through a 24 inch (60 cm) opening. The other divers' remains showed signs of boiled blood, unusually strong rigor mortis, large amounts of gas in the blood vessels, and scattered hemorrhages in the soft tissues.[112]
  • 1983: Sergei Chalibashvili, a professional diver, died as a result of a diving accident during the 1983 Summer Universiade in Edmonton, Alberta. When he attempted a three-and-a-half reverse somersault in the tuck position from the ten-meter platform, he struck his head on the platform and was knocked unconscious. He died after being in a coma for a week.[113]
  • 1983: American author Tennessee Williams died when he choked on an eyedrop bottle-cap in his room at the Hotel Elysee in New York. He would routinely place the cap in his mouth, lean back, and place his eyedrops in each eye.[114]
  • 1983: Jimmy Lee Gray, during his execution in a Mississippi gas chamber, died bashing his head against a metal pole behind the chair he was strapped into. The poisonous gas had failed to kill him but left him in agony and gasping for eight minutes.[115]
  • 1983: Dick Wertheim was an American tennis linesman who died from blunt cranial trauma at a match at the 1983 US Open. A serve from Stefan Edberg hit his groin, causing him to fall and hit his head on the pavement.[116]
  • 1986: More than 1,700 were killed after a limnic eruption from Lake Nyos in Cameroon released approximately 100,000,000 cubic metres (3,500,000,000 cubic feet) of carbon dioxide that quickly descended on the lake and killed oxygen-dependent life within a 25-kilometre (15-mile) radius, including three villages. The same phenomenon is also blamed for the deaths of 37 near Lake Monoun in 1984.[117]

1990s[edit]

  • 1990: Bo Díaz, a 37-year-old former baseball player, was killed at his home in Caracas on 23 September. A satellite dish that he was adjusting on the roof of his home fell on him and crushed his neck and head against the base of the dish.[118]
  • 1991: Edward Juchniewicz, a 76-year-old man from Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, was killed when the unattended ambulance stretcher he was strapped to rolled down a grade and overturned.[119][120]
  • 1993: Actor Brandon Lee, son of Bruce Lee, was shot and killed by a prop gun during the making of the movie The Crow. The accident happened after a mistake in prop handling procedures: In a prior scene a revolver was fired using a cartridge with only a primer and a bullet, but the primer provided enough force to push the round out of the cartridge into the barrel of the revolver, where it stuck. The gun was then reused to shoot the death scene of Lee's character. This time it was reloaded with a blank cartridge that contained propellant and a primer. When actor Michael Massee fired the gun, the bullet was propelled into Lee.[121]
  • 1993: Garry Hoy, a 38-year-old lawyer in Toronto, fell to his death on 9 July 1993, after he threw himself against a window on the 24th floor of the Toronto-Dominion Centre in an attempt to prove to a group of visitors that the glass was "unbreakable," a demonstration he had done many times before. The glass did not break, but popped out of the window frame.[122][123]
  • 1993: Michael A. Shingledecker, Jr. was killed when he and a friend were struck by a pickup truck while lying flat on the yellow dividing line of a two-lane highway in Polk, Pennsylvania. They were copying a daredevil stunt from the movie The Program. Marco Birkhimer died in a similar accident while performing the same stunt in Route 206 of Bordentown, New Jersey.[124]
  • 1994: Jennifer Jones, a 15-year-old student, died at her Palm Beach, Florida home after attempting to inhale freon gas from the air-conditioning unit.[125]
  • 1994: Gloria Ramirez was admitted to a hospital in Riverside, California with symptoms originally thought to be related to her cervical cancer. Before she died Ramirez's body released mysterious toxic fumes that made several hospital employees very ill. Scientists still don't agree on any of the theories as to what could've caused this.[126]
  • 1995: A 39-year-old man committed suicide in Canberra, Australia by shooting himself three times with a pump action shotgun. The first shot passed through his chest, but missed all of the vital organs. He reloaded and shot away his throat and part of his jaw. Breathing through the throat wound, he again reloaded, held the gun against his chest with his hands and operated the trigger with his toes. This shot entered the thoracic cavity and demolished the heart, killing him.[127]
  • 1995: Joe Buddy Caine, 35, died in Anniston, Alabama, when he and friend got drunk and played catch with a rattlesnake, the snake bit them and Caine was the only fatality.[128]
  • 1996: Sharon Lopatka, from Maryland, was killed by Robert Glass who claimed that she had solicited him to torture and kill her for the purpose of sexual gratification.[129]
  • 1997: Karen Wetterhahn, a professor of chemistry at Dartmouth College, died of mercury poisoning ten months after a few drops of dimethylmercury landed on her protective gloves. Although Wetterhahn had been following the required procedures for handling the chemical, it still permeated her gloves and skin within seconds. As a result of her death, regulations were altered.[130][131]
  • 1998 October: The entire association football team of Bena Tshadi playing against Basanga was killed by lightning during a match in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Everyone on Basanga, the home team, survived.[132][133][unreliable source?]
  • 1998: 16 year-old Jonathan Capewell of Oldham, Greater Manchester, died of accidental poisoning by methane and butane, after obsessive use of aerosol deodorants.[134]
  • 1999: Jon Desborough, a physical education teacher at Liverpool College, died when he slipped and fell onto the blunt end of a javelin he was retrieving. The javelin passed through his eye socket and into his brain, causing severe brain damage and putting him into a coma. He died a month later.[135][136]

21st century[edit]

2000s[edit]

  • 2001: Bernd-Jürgen Brandes, from Germany, was voluntarily stabbed repeatedly and then partly eaten by Armin Meiwes (who was later called the Cannibal of Rotenburg). Brandes had answered an internet advertisement by Meiwes looking for someone for this purpose. Brandes explicitly stated in his will that he wished to be killed and eaten.[137]
  • 2001: Michael Colombini, a 6-year-old American boy from Croton-on-Hudson, New York, was struck and killed at Westchester Regional Medical Centre by an oxygen tank when it was pulled into the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machine while he underwent a test. He had begun to experience breathing difficulties while in the MRI and when an anaesthesiologist brought a portable oxygen canister into the magnetic field, it was pulled from his hands and struck the boy in the head.[138][139]
  • 2002: Brittanie Cecil, a 13-year-old American, was struck in the head by a hockey puck shot by Espen Knutsen and deflected into the crowd at an NHL hockey game in Columbus, Ohio. She died two days later in the hospital.[140]
  • 2003: Brian Douglas Wells, an American pizza delivery man in Erie, Pennsylvania, was killed when a time bomb fastened around his neck exploded. At the time of his death he had been apprehended by the police for robbing a bank. Wells told police that three people had locked the bomb around his neck and would not release it had he refused to commit the robbery.[141]
  • 2004: Ronald McClagish, from Murrow, Cambridgeshire in England, was trapped inside a cupboard when a wardrobe outside fell over and made it impossible for him to get out. McClagish survived for a week before succumbing to bronchitis, which he had contracted when he removed a waterpipe in an attempt to free himself and the cupboard was partially flooded.[142][143]
  • 2004: An unidentified Taiwanese woman died of alcohol intoxication after immersion for twelve hours in a bathtub filled with 40% ethanol. Her blood alcohol content was 1.35%. It was believed that she had immersed herself as a response to the SARS epidemic.[144]
  • 2004: Francis "Franky" Brohm, 23, of Marietta, Georgia was leaning out of a car window and decapitated by a telephone pole support wire. The car's intoxicated driver, John Hutcherson, 21, drove nearly 12 miles (19 km) to his home with the headless body in the passenger seat, parked the car in his driveway, then went to bed. A neighbour saw the bloody corpse still in the car and notified police. Brohm's head was later discovered at the accident scene.[145]
  • 2005: Kenneth Pinyan from Seattle, Washington, died of acute peritonitis after receiving anal intercourse from a stallion. The case led to the criminalization of bestiality in Washington state.[146]
  • 2005: Lee Seung Seop, a 28-year-old from South Korea, collapsed of fatigue and died after playing the videogame StarCraft online for almost 50 consecutive hours.[147]
  • 2006: Erika Tomanu, a seven-year-old girl in Saitama, Japan, died when she was sucked 10 metres down the intake pipe of a current pool at a water park.[148]
  • 2006: An unidentified airline mechanic was sucked into the engine of a Boeing 737-500 at El Paso International Airport while performing routine maintenance on the tarmac.[149][150]
Steve Irwin, whose heart was impaled by a stingray barb
  • 2006: Steve Irwin, an Australian television personality and naturalist known as the Crocodile Hunter, died when his heart was impaled by a stingray barb while filming a documentary in Queensland's Great Barrier Reef.[151]
  • 2006: Mariesa Weber, a petite 38-year-old woman, asphyxiated when she became wedged upside-down behind a bookcase in her bedroom while trying to adjust a plug on her television set. Her family, believing she had been abducted, searched for eleven days before finally finding the body.[152]
  • 2006: Alexander Litvinenko, a former officer of the Russian State Security Service and later a dissident and writer, died from acute radiation syndrome after being poisoned with polonium-210.[153]
  • 2007: Jennifer Strange, a 28-year-old woman from Sacramento, California, died of water intoxication while trying to win a Nintendo Wii console in a KDND 107.9 "The End" radio station's "Hold Your Wee for a Wii" contest, which involved drinking large quantities of water without urinating.[154][155]
  • 2007: Humberto Hernandez, a 24-year-old Oakland, California resident, was killed after being struck in the face by an airborne fire hydrant while walking. A passing car had struck the fire hydrant and the water pressure shot the hydrant at Hernandez with enough force to kill him.[156][157][158]
  • 2007: Kevin Whitrick, a 42-year-old British man, committed suicide by hanging himself live in front of a webcam during an Internet chat session.[159]
  • 2007: A ten month old camel killed the woman who owned it, by knocking her to the ground and straddling her. A camel expert confirmed the attack was sexual in nature.[160]
  • 2007: Surinder Singh Bajwa, the Deputy Mayor of Delhi, India, died after falling from his building's terrace while trying to fight off attacking Rhesus macaque monkeys.[161]
  • 2008: Abigail Taylor, a 6-year-old from Edina, Minnesota, died nine months after several of her internal organs were partially sucked out of her lower body while she sat on an excessively powerful swimming pool drain. Surgeons had replaced her intestines and pancreas with donor organs, but she later succumbed to a rare transplant-related cancer.[162]
  • 2008: David Phyall, 50, the last resident in a block of flats due to be demolished in Bishopstoke, near Southampton, Hampshire, England, decapitated himself with a chainsaw to highlight the injustice of being forced to move out.[163][164]
  • 2009: Taylor Mitchell, a Canadian folk singer, was attacked and killed by three coyotes, the only recorded adult person to have been killed by this species.[165][166]

2010s[edit]

  • 2010: Jimi Heselden, British owner of the Segway motorized scooter company, was killed when he accidentally drove off a cliff on a Segway at his estate at Thorp Arch near Boston Spa.[167]
  • 2010: Mike Edwards, British founding member and cellist for the band ELO, died when a large round bale of hay rolled down the hill and smashed his car while he was out driving.[168][169]
  • 2011: Jose Luis Ochoa, 35, died after being stabbed in the leg at a cockfight in Tulare County, California U.S., by one of the birds that had a knife attached to its limb.[170][171]
  • 2011: Harry, Kimberly and their father Trevor Wallwark (and their two dogs) died of carbon monoxide poisoning when a crisps packet became lodged in the chimney and caused the carbon monoxide to flood the room of their cottage in Gurteen, County Sligo, Ireland.[172]
  • 2012: Erica Marshall, a 28-year-old British veterinarian in Ocala, Florida, died when the horse she was treating in a hyperbaric chamber kicked the wall, released a spark from its horseshoes and triggered an explosion.[173][174][175]
  • 2012: Shirley Perkins, 55, a disabled woman of Berryhill, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, was killed when she got her head trapped in her stair lift. She toppled backwards down the stairs and got her head wedged between the metal rung of the electric seat and the wall.[176]
  • 2012: Edward Archbold, 32, a man of West Palm Beach, Florida, died after winning a cockroach eating contest. The cause of death was determined to be accidental choking due to "arthropod body parts." [177] Florence Vaccarello Dunkel, Associate Professor of Entomology at Montana State University, said of Archbold's death: "I've never heard of that happening."[178]
  • 2013: In Belarus, a 60-year-old ex-serviceman died of blood loss after being attacked by a beaver. The man was bitten multiple times by the rodent, which sliced an artery with its sharp teeth. It has been suggested that the man was trying to catch the beaver to have his photo taken with it. Attacks are said to be on the rise in Belarus due to the increasing beaver population, but this is the first recorded fatality.[179][180]
  • 2013: In Ukraine, a woman in her thirties was killed when she was run over by a train while having sex on the tracks, with her partner losing both his legs in the accident. The two had reportedly been drinking prior to the incident. [181][182]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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Further reading[edit]