Death is an inevitable outcome for all of us. But sometimes it can be so bizarre and such an ironic twist of events that it makes us shiver with the thought of it.
Crash Course: In an attempt to prove to his partners at his Toronto law firm that the glass in the Toronto-Dominion Center was unbreakable, lawyer Garry Hoy threw himself through a glass wall on the 24th story floor in 1993. He was proven wrong, the glass shattered and he fell to his death.
Hoarder Horror: Perhaps the most famous hoarder of all time, Langley Collyer, died in his own squalor. He lived with his blind and paralyzed brother, Homer, in a three-story mansion in New York, which was filled floor to ceiling with junk and was booby-trapped to send debris showering down on any unsuspecting intruder. In 1947, the police found both brothers’ bodies under piles of rubble. Homer had starved to death and Langley was suffocated by one of his own booby traps.
It Just Doesn’t Add Up: His peers described Johann Underwald, a Swiss mathematician, as the next Albert Einstein. Ironically, it was a mathematical error that led to his death in October 1999. Underwald made a 250-foot bungee jump with a 300-foot bungee cord and died on impact.
The Defense Rests: Clement Laird Vallandigham was a lawyer known for his involved style of defending clients. In 1871, he demonstrated in court that it was possible for the deceased to have shot himself accidentally – by shooting himself accidentally. He died, but his client, accused of murder, got off thanks to his all-too convincing demonstration.
Where Eagles Soar: A 2008 issue of England’s Sun newspaper tells the story of two car passengers in Iran who were minding their own business driving along the road when a clumsy eagle flying overhead accidentally dropped a cobra that was gripped in its claws into their vehicle. The cobra bit them, killing both passengers.
Electrifying Twist Of Faith: Michael Anderson Godwin managed to escape the electric chair after being convicted of murder and sentenced to death. He had his sentence reduced to life in prison, but he couldn’t escape fate or his own stupidity. He ended up dying in 1989 while trying to fix his TV set while sitting on a metal toilet. He bit into a wire and was electrocuted.
Scooped Into The Hands Of Death: A man in full scuba diving gear was found lying dead in the midst of a California forest fire. The man had been enjoying a dive in the nearby ocean in 1998 when he was scooped up by a large water bucket attached to the helicopter and dropped into the fire zone. The diver died of massive internal injuries.
Domino Theory: When a dog fell out of a 13th floor window in Argentina in 1983, it landed on a passing retiree and killed her instantly. But as a crowd gathered and onlookers gathered to survey the devastation, one among them, a 75 year old woman, was hit by a bus. It all went further downhill from there as a male witness to both tragedies, overcome by the scene, suffered a fatal heart attack.
Not On His Game: A 28-year-old South Korean man, Lee Seung Seop, collapsed and died after playing the online game Starcraft at an Internet café for 50 hours with few breaks. Authorities presumed he died from heart failure stemming from exhaustion. No word on whether he was winning the game.
These stories may seem morbid and strange, but there is some good news: According to Whit Cornman, spokesperson for American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI), life insurance policies have no exclusions regarding a bizarre death, though there may be a waiting period for the company to investigate possible fraud. After all, death by gaming could be hard to fathom.
“Some policies may have accidental death and dismemberment riders that will pay an additional benefit above and beyond the basic coverage in the case of an accidental death. However, there are exclusions to AD&D policies that may apply if a person dies as a result of putting him or herself in a dangerous situation. These exclusions are typically spelled out in the contract,” Cornman said.
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