(31 May 2003, Indiana) Tamar came all the way from New York for the annual Stark Raven Mad event at the Splashin’ Safari waterpark at Holiday World, where members of the American Coaster Enthusiasts planned to rendezvous on Memorial Day weekend. The 32-year-old eagerly looked forward to riding the Raven, later described by Spencer County Prosecutor Jon Dartt as “one of the world’s most terrifying roller coasters.”
Tamar planned what coaster enthusiasts call “catching airtime,” standing up during the ride to show bravery. The park staff warned the “spirited and intelligent” Harvard MBA, along with the rest of the group, “Don’t mess with our safety equipment.” Tamar’s seat belt and lap bar restraint were in place when the train left the station. But you can’t catch airtime that way. Her seatbelt was later found unbuckled and tucked into the seat cushions.
As the train swooped over the precipice into the “infamous drop” on the fifth turn at 60 mph, where the G-forces are notoriously skyward, Tamar unlatched her seat belt and stood up. The train dropped, but Tamar didn’t. She caught good air until she landed on the ground, 69 feet below.
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After losing his prominent job, Benjamin Cross packs up his little trailer and moves to Wind River, a small fly-fishing town in Idaho where he plans on spending a few months recouping with his friends.
He arrives to find that Cue and Katie, the owners of a bar and grill located on the banks of the Snake River are in a power struggle with the proprietor of the prestigious hotel next to them. Ben puts his efforts toward helping them, unaware of the lengths some will go to get what they want.
Sex, greed, and murder take over the lives of Wind River’s residents, and soon, it becomes fuzzy who can be trusted.
Twists and turns will keep you reading this thriller, with the colorful small town characters surprising you when you thought you had it all figured out. And when you’re finished, you will be left wanting more, not realizing the colossal damages that greed and lust have done to affect the future of your new friends, the residents of Wind River.
(12 October 2001, Finland) A group of friends was stranded beside the freeway when their automobile ran out of gas. The weather was terrible, and despite their frantic efforts, nobody would stop to help them. Eventually one member of the group became so frustrated that he stomped to the middle of the freeway and sprawled out across the road.
The police found several empty beer bottles lying around the car. We can only hope the 21-year-old was drunk enough to dull the pain of the impact.
(24 November 2001, Hungary) Two farmers were killed and a third was hospitalized with serious injuries after the men attempted to kill a pig with a homemade stun gun during a traditional Hungarian pre-Christmas slaughter.
One farmer electrocuted himself with the jury-rigged device during an unsuccessful attempt to knock out the pig. The elderly owner of the pig was so alarmed at the tragedy unfolding before his eyes that he suffered a heart attack and died.
The third farmer tried to come to the rescue of the first farmer by pulling the plug out of the socket. He was shocked, but survived.
The pig came to no harm that day.
(8 July 2001, Montana) From the time we first climbed down from the trees to light a fire, we’ve been developing new and creative ways to make our lives easier. Centuries ago, the hardy Arctic peoples discovered a time-saver: sliding on boards (skis) across snow was easier than walking! And motors? When motors were invented, an improvement was obvious: hook the motor to the board, making the snowmobile.
Today, intrepid innovators are finding new uses for the snowmobile.
Gary, 49, did not know how to swim, but in Montana a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do. Snowmoboating had a new convert. Demonstrating manliness by not wearing a flotation device, Gary climbed onto his snowmobile, gunned the motor, and skittered across the surface of the reservoir like a waterbug on speed, zooming onto the far bank 200 yards away. Great delight was expressed by all.500-pound snowmobiles are not designed to float, and in fact do not float, but people have discovered that a snowmobile can hydroplane across the surface of water. This happy circumstance probably first occured on a flooded road or parking lot, but from there it spread to deeper waters.
He turned the snowmobile around, gunned the motor like another Montana daredevil of some reknown (Evel Knievel) and roared onto the water for the return trip. But here, physics was his downfall. The snowmobile was moving too slowly when it hit the water. Speed and water-skipping go hand in hand, so our Darwin Award winner had barely bagged the 50-foot buoy when the snowmobile lost momentum and plunged to the bottom, carrying an overly-confident winner down with it.
Montana had claimed its first victim of snowmoboating. But innocent victim? We think not. Had he taken the obvious precaution of wearing a lifejacket, this story need never have been.
(21 July 2001, Idaho) When his brakes failed while driving down a steep mountain road, Marco bailed out on his eight passengers and leapt from his Dodge van. Too bad Marco didn’t alert the others to the problem before he took flight so precipitously. Another passenger was able to bring the vehicle to a stop a short distance away. Marco struck his head on the pavement and died at the scene. No one else was injured.
Cancer – the scourge of mankind, if ever there was one. Who can say they don’t know or are related to someone affected by this devil-spawned disease? My mother died from it. I, due to long exposure in the sun in my early years now have to periodically go to the doctor to have pre-cancerous spots frozen off before they turn deadly. If you have it in your heart, please give to this. It can literally change history.
|(28 February 2000, Texas) A Houston man earned a succinct lesson in gun safety when he played Russian roulette with a .45-caliber semiautomatic pistol. Rashaad, nineteen, was visiting friends when he announced his intention to play the deadly game. He apparently did not realize that a semiautomatic pistol, unlike a revolver, automatically inserts a cartridge into the firing chamber when the gun is cocked. His chance of winning a round of Russian roulette was zero, as he quickly discovered.|