The Bizarre, Unusual and Deadly Side of 2013

“To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die.” – Thomas Campbell

In this past year, 2013, the world lost a lot of famous people – some beloved, some abhorred, some admired. Nelson Mandela, Paul Walker, Conrad Bain, Donald F. Hornig, Hugo Chavez, Margaret Thatcher, James Gandolfini, Pran, Hiroshi Yamauchi, Peter O’Toole and numerous others left us behind. These deaths were widely reported, talked about, mourned and reminisced.

And then there were those that bordered on bizarre. Sometimes unusual, sometimes gruesome, but always tragic. These deaths seem to have walked right out of the Final Destination franchise. Most unexpected and untimely – they hit their victims when they least expected it.

Here is a list of the top 10 deadly and bizarre incidents of 2013 that shook the lives of the families and townships involved, if not the world.

Roman Pirozek Junior1.  Roman Pirozek Jr., age 19, a model aircraft enthusiast, was killed on 5th September 2013 at a freak accident at Calvert Vaux Park in Brooklyn, New York. He was there trying some tricks with his remote controlled helicopter, when he lost control and the machine came down on his head, with the moving rotor blades scalping him to death. His own father watched the horrifying incident as the chopper went out of control and slashed his throat and sliced off a part of his skull.

Roman had been a regular at performing daredevil stunts with his RC helicopter and had posted several videos on Youtube. This one however, went horribly awry. A tragic way to end a 19 year old’s life.

Alyssa and Kayleigh Calhoun 2. This unfortunate, if innocent accident involving 2 sisters is heart wrenching. On 9th November, 2013, in a quiet neighborhood in Walton County, Georgia, 2 young girls were out playing in their yard. The incident occurred at around 11:15 am. The older girl, Kayleigh, aged 4, poured some gasoline onto the slide to make it more slippery. Her sister Alyssa, aged 2, was going down the slide when the gasoline ignited due to static electricity and engulfed the little girl in flames. The father, Christopher Calhoun, rushed out immediately on hearing the girls’ cries for help, took her into the shower and immediately put out the flames. Alyssa suffered extensive burns and is now in a medically induced coma with more surgeries planned. Their mother Jennifer and the rest of the family are still in shock and despair.

Poonam Toiwari3. This bizarre incident occurred on the morning of 19th September 2013 in Salarpur, India. Poonam Tiwari, a 20 yr old woman was hanging clothes out to dry outside her window when her leg slipped and she fell out and down 3 floors only to fall on 60 yr old Om Prakash, a sweeper, who was cleaning the drain at the time. Om Prakash suffered serious head injuries. Both were rushed to the closest hospital where they were declared dead on arrival. Poonam’s husband, Ramakant, had been away on a business trip at the time.

John-Jackson4. John Jackson, aged 40, led to his own death at his home in West Midlands County, England, on 2nd May 2013, after overdosing on Hero Instant Energy Mints. John had way too much resulting in high caffeine levels in his blood, almost double the recommended maximum dosage. John also had a liver condition that compounded the problem.

His daughter Rebecca, 23, said her father used to eat the mints like any other regular mints without knowing about its high caffeine content. The warning on the packaging was tiny and they were stocked with other regular mints in all stores. In reality, each piece contains as much caffeine as popular energy drinks.

A spokesperson for Hero Energy found the news shocking and reiterated the company’s policy of making the associated risks of caffeine consumption known to the people.

Miguel Martinez5. This unfortunate incident occurred with Miguel Martinez in Lubbock, Texas during an innocent game of hide-n-seek. The 14 year old tripped and fell onto the horn of a bull statue that impaled him in the chest and killed him within moments. His mother Judith is still in extreme shock.

He was staying overnight at his friend Jeremy’s place when the middle-of-the-night family walk and an innocent game of fun turned horribly tragic on 22nd June 2013.

Oakley Sidwell6. On 14th August 2013, 9 year old Oaklee Sidwell had been playing with her friends in her backyard in Panguitch, Utah. A sudden strong wind carried her and the trampoline she had been sitting on away high up in the air. She fell almost 150 feet away. She was rushed to the nearest hospital but died from her injuries the following day.

She had been the only one sitting on it at the time. The trampoline had been anchored to the ground and had a safety net, but the wind had been strong enough to lift it off despite that.

Eakkarat Sarapon7. Eakkarat Sarapon, 29, died on the third day of his job when the automatic doors of the bus he was driving malfunctioned, choking him to death at Boat Lagoon in Phuket, Thailand. He switched on the engine and AC before accidently getting wedged between the door and the bus. The bus was almost brand new with just a month in service.

Tugba Erdogan8. Tu?ba Erdo?an, 24, suffered a horrific death on 6th February 2013 in Adapazan, Turkey. She was at a Go-karting circuit at the town west of Istanbul. After completing a few laps, she lost control of her go-kart crashing into the safety barriers.  Around the same time, her scarf got tangled in the shaft of the kart leading to the tragedy. She had also accidently worn the security belt across her neck instead of chest. However, the scarf has been held responsible for the tragedy which tightened around her neck and completely snapped it off during the crash. Witnesses were reportedly in a state of shock having seen the decapitated body.

Ma Ailun9. Ma Ailun, 23, a flight attendant with China Southern Airlines, died on 11th July 2013 by electrocution in her home Xinjiang. She had been charging her iPhone 4 with a fake non-Apple made charger on July 11 2013. She got electrocuted with 220V of direct current after picking up her phone to answer a call. The poor quality of the knock-off charger is being blamed for the unfortunate incident.

Joao Maria de Souza10. Joao Maria de Souza, 45, from Brazil, met his death in the most unlikely of manners. Death by bovine while lying asleep in bed.

Joao and his wife Leni had been fast asleep in bed when a 3000 pound cow crashed through their roof and landed right on top of him. The cow, after escaping from a nearby farm, climbed onto their roof on the hillside. The roof caved in to the weight and sent the bovine crashing through to an 8 ft fall right onto the sleeping Joao.

After several hours of treatment at the hospital, he died of internal bleeding. The wife and the cow were both unhurt.

These goose bumps inducing stories were shared, tweeted, and then quickly forgotten. Here’s to remembering the forgotten, wishing their families well, and praying incidents like these don’t happen to any of us.

Wish you all a very safe and alive 2014!

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