I’ve always thought that a nice way to go when my time comes is in my sleep.  But what of these unfortunate and mostly untimely deaths?  How did they come to take their last breath?


*In 620 BC, an Athenian lawmaker by the name of Draco was smothered to death by gifts of hats and cloaks showered upon him by an appreciative audience in a theatre in Aegina!


In 455 BC another Athenian, this time a tragedian by the name of Aeschylus met an untimely death when an eagle dropped a tortoise on his bald head, mistaking it for a rock to shatter the hard shell of the reptile.  The irony of this was that Aeschylus was outside in order to avert a prophecy that he would be killed by a falling object!


In 1567 Hans Staininger, burgomaster of Bavaria (now Austria) met his demise when he broke his neck tripping over his own beard.  The beard was 4.5 ft long at the time and was normally kept rolled up in a leather pouch.


In 1872, a pallbearer at Kensal Green Cemetery in London named Henry Taylor stumbled over a stone whilst carrying a coffin.  The other pallbearers let go of the coffin and it fell on him, crushing him to death in front of all the mourners.


A few years later, in 1881 British MP Sir William Payne-Gallwey suffered internal injuries when he fell over whilst hunting, landing on a turnip.  He died a few days later from his injuries.


Frank Hayes, a 35-year-old jockey from New York only ever won one race, riding a horse named Sweet Kiss.  Sadly he suffered a fatal heart attack mid-race and collapsed on Sweet Kiss who still went on to win the race with his rider still on board meaning technically Frank won.


Health food fanatic and inappropriately named Basil Brown, 48, turned yellow and died after he consumed 70 million units of Vitamin A and 38 litres of Carrot juice over 10 days, damaging his liver.


In 1983, Dick Wertheim, a tennis linesman passed away after he was struck in the groin by a tennis ball and fell out of his chair!


Mildred Bowman, 62 and her sister Alice Wardle, 68 died whilst on holiday in Benidorm in 2005 when they became trapped for four days when their foldaway bed collapsed.


A 14 year old boy from China was killed when the pneumatic cylinder of his office chair exploded in March 2009.


A cow climbed on top of the house of Joao Maria de Souza, 45 of Brazil, from a steep hillside behind it. The cow fell through the roof, crushing Joao to death as he slept. Both the cow and de Souza’s wife (who had been in bed next to him) were unharmed.


The stepson of Denver Lee St. Clair rendered him unconscious during a fight and then asphyxiated him with an atomic wedgie after he pulled the torn elastic band from his underwear over his head, using it to strangle him.


Most recently – on February 18th this year – Hoong Leong, aged 37 was struck on the shoulder by a falling gas cylinder whilst walking home during a storm in The Rocks area of Sydney Australia, he survived the impact but died of a cardiac arrest upon arrival at the hospital.


The moral of this post is: “Live each day as if it were your last. Learn as if you would live forever.”  (Mahatma Gandhi).


*Facts courtesy of Wikipedia.  Disclaimer – some may be a legend.

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