"Darwin Award" Nominee

You all know about the Darwin Awards -- It's an annual honor given to
the person who did the gene pool the biggest service by killing
themselves in the most extraordinarily stupid way.  Last years winner
was the fellow who was killed by a Coke machine which toppled over on
top of him as he was attempting to tip a free soda out of it.

And this year's nominee is:

The Arizona Highway Patrol came upon a pile of smoldering metal
embedded into the side of a cliff rising above the road at the apex of
a curve.  The wreckage resembled the site of an airplane crash, but it
was a car.  The type of car was unidentifiable at the scene.  The lab
finally figured out what it was a what had happened.

It seems that a guy had somehow gotten hold of a JATO unit(Jet
Assisted Take Off - actually a solid fuel rocket) that is used to give
heavy military transport planes an extra "push" for taking off from
short airfields.  He had driven his Chevy Impala out into the desert
and found a long, straight stretch of road.  Then he attached the JATO
unit to his car, jumped in, got up some speed and fired off the JATO!

The facts as best a could be determined are that the operator of the
1967 Impala hit JATO ignition at a distance of approximately 3.0 miles
from the crash site.  The was established by the prominent scorched
and melted asphalt at that location.  The JATO, if operating properly,
would have reached maximum thrust within 5 seconds, causing the Chevy
to reach speeds well in excess of 350 mph and continuing at full pwer
for an additional 20-25 seconds. The driver, soon to be pilot, most
likely would have experienced G-forces usually reserved for
dog-fighting F-14 jocks under full afterburners, basically causing him
to be come insignificant for the remainder of the event.  However, the
automobile remained on the straight highway for about 2.5 miles
(15-20) seconds before the driver applied and completely melted the
brakes, blowing the tires and leaving thick rubber marks on the road
surface, then becoming airborne for an additional 1.4 miles and
impacting the cliff face at a height of 125 feet leaving a blackened
crater 3 feet deep in the rock.

Most of the driver's remains were not recoverable; however,
small fragments of teeth and hair were extracted from the
crater and fingernail and bone shards were removed from a piece
of debris believed to be a portion of the steering wheel.

Life is like a brown bag lunch, you get out of it what you put into it.