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Darwin Awards
2001 Darwin Awards
Email a Friend Named in honor of Charles Darwin, the father of evolution, the Darwin Awards commemorate those who improve our gene pool by removing themselves from it. Next Prev Random

Coke Is It!
2001 Darwin Award Nominee
Confirmed True by Darwin

(12 December 1998, Canada) A man crushed beneath a vending machine while trying to shake loose a free soda? If you thought it happened only in Urban Legends you're wrong!

Kevin, a 19-year-old Quebec student, killed himself at Bishop's University while shaking a 420-kilogram Coke machine. He had been celebrating the end of final exams with friends. He died beneath the soda machine, asphyxiated, with a blood alcohol level slightly over the legal driving limit.

Kevin's last act was committed in vain. "Even as it fell over, the vending machine did not let out a single can," the coroner reported. Soda-holics take note! The report also states that toppled vending machines have caused at least 35 deaths and 140 injuries in the last twenty years.

For those with enquiring minds, I refer you to a website dedicated to the quest to clear Kevin's name. His family questions the official version on their website, aptly named cokemachineaccidents.com (currently ofline but Archived Here.) They recently sued Coca-Cola, two related companies, and Bishop's University for "gross carelessness." Their website exposť proffers several explanations for why Kevin's death was not his own fault: shaking coke machines "was common practice at the University," and anyway, unknown persons might have crushed Kevin with the vending machine in a bizarre murder, as it "would be difficult for one person to move" the machine.

In response, a spokesperson for Coke said that Canadian machines are now labeled with a warning that "tipping or rocking may cause injury or death." They have also installed anti-theft devices in newer models to keep people from obtaining free drinks.

DarwinAwards.com © 1994 - 2012
Submitted by: The Bitshipper, Dave Mann
Reference: The Canadian Press and Graeme Hamilton of the National Post

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