A fierce gust of wind blew 45-year-old Vittorio Luise's car into a river
near Naples, Italy, in 1983. He managed to break a window, climb
out and swim to shore -- where a tree blew over and killed him.
Mike Stewart, 31, of Dallas was filming a movie in 1983 on the
dangers of low-level bridges when the truck he was standing on
passed under a low-level bridge -- killing him.
Walter Hallas, a 26-year-old store clerk in Leeds, England,
was so afraid of dentists that in 1979 he asked a fellow worker
to try to curehis toothache by punching him in the jaw.
The punch caused Hallas to fall down, hitting his head, and
he died of a fractured skull.
George Schwartz, owner of a factory in Providence, R.I., narrowly
escaped death when a 1983 blast flattened his factory except for
one wall. After treatment for minor injuries, he returned to the
scene to search for files. The remaining wall then collapsed on him, killing
Depressed since he could not find a job, 42-year-old Romolo Ribolla
sat in his kitchen near Pisa, Italy, with a gun in his hand threatening to
kill himself in 1981. His wife pleaded for him not to do it, and
after about an hour he burst into tears and threw the gun to the floor.
It went off and killed his wife.
A man hit by a car in New York in 1977 got up uninjured,
but lay back down in front of the car when a
bystander told him to pretend he was hurt so he could
collect insurance money. The car rolled forward
and crushed him to death.
Surprised while burgling a house in Antwerp, Belgium,
a thief fled out the back door, clambered over a nine-foot wall,
dropped down and found himself in the city prison.
In 1976 a twenty-two-year-old Irishman, Bob Finnegan,
was crossing the busy Falls Road in Belfast,
when he was struck by a taxi and flung over its roof.
The taxi drove away and, as Finnegan lay
stunned in the road, another car ran into him, rolling him
into the gutter. It too drove on. As a knot of
gawkers gathered to examine the magnetic Irishman,
a delivery van plowed through the crowd, leaving
in its wake three injured bystanders and an even more
battered Bob Finnegan. When a fourth vehicle
came along, the crowd wisely scattered and only
one person was hit -- Bob Finnegan. In the space of
two minutes Finnegan suffered a fractured skull,
broken pelvis, broken leg, and other assorted injuries.
Hospital officials said he would recover.
While motorcycling through the Hungarian countryside,
Cristo Falatti came up to a railway line just as the crossing
gates were coming down. While he sat idling, he was joined
by a farmer with a goat, which the farmer tethered to the
crossing gate. A few moments later a horse and cart drew
up behind Falatti, followed in short order by a man in a sportscar.
When the train roared through the crossing, the horse startled
and bit Falatti on the arm. Not a man to be trifled with,
Falatti responded by punching the horse in the head. In
consequence the horse's owner jumped down from his cart
and began scuffling with the motorcyclist. The horse, which
was not up to this sort of excitement, backed away briskly,
smashing the cart into the sportscar. At this, the sportscar
driver leaped out of his car and joined the fray. The farmer
came forward to try to pacify the three flailing men.
As he did so, the crossing gates rose and his goat was strangled.
At last report, the insurance companies were still trying to
sort out the claims.
Two West German motorists had an all-too-literal head-on
collision in heavy fog near the small town of Guetersloh.
Each was guiding his car at a snail's pace near the center
of the road. At the moment of impact their heads were both out of
the windows when they smacked together. Both men were
hospitalized with severe head injuries.
Their cars weren't scratched.
In a classic case of one thing leading to another, seven men aged
eighteen to twenty-nine received jail sentences of three to four
years in Kingston-on-Thames, England, in 1979 after a fight that
started when one of the men threw a french fry at another while
they stood waiting for a train.
Hitting on the novel idea that he could end his wife's incessant
nagging by giving her a good scare, Hungarian Jake Fen built
an elaborate harness to make it look as if he had hanged
himself. When his wife came home and saw him she fainted.
Hearing a disturbance a neighbor came
over and, finding what she thought were two corpses,
seized the opportunity to loot the place. As she
was leaving the room, her arms laden, the outraged and
suspended Mr. Fen kicked her stoutly in the
backside. This so surprised the lady that she dropped dead
of a heart attack. Happily, Mr. Fen was
acquitted of manslaughter and he and his wife were reconciled.
An unidentified English woman, according to the London Sunday
Express was climbing into the bathtub one afternoon when she
remembered she had left some muffins in the oven. Naked, she
dashed downstairs and was removing
the muffins when she heard a noise at the door.
Thinking it was the baker, and knowing he would
come in and leave a loaf of bread on the kitchen table
if she didn't answer his knock, the woman darted
into the broom cupboard. A few moments later she
heard the back door open and, to her eternal
mortification, the sound of footsteps coming toward
the cupboard. It was the man from the gas
company, come to read the meter.
"Oh," stammered the woman, "I was expecting
the baker." The gas man blinked, excused himself and departed.