Stupid is as stupid does, Darwin claims another

Some people are just destined to become victims of their own stupidity.

This case is right up there.

The party where a young man died in Gisborne last night was “far from out of control”, the property owner says.

The 20-year-old climbed a tennis court lighting pole at his friend’s Lytton West house and tried to jump into a swimming pool. Instead, he lost his balance and landed on paving below.

He was rushed to Gisborne Hospital with serious injuries but died shortly after arriving, about 8.30pm.

The man had multiple injuries to various parts of his body, Eastern District Police spokeswoman Kris McGehan said.

Tairawhiti Police said the death was a tragic accident and would be referred to the coroner.  

I bet you the finding says his blood alcohol levels were above the legal limit to drive.

The owner of the property, who asked not to be named, said the deceased was a friend of his son.

“There were about 20 of them around at the house, having a few drinks,” he said.

“They were planning on heading to Rhythm and Vines [music festival].

“It was far from out of control. It was very relaxed.”

He said the group was about to leave when the accident happened.

“My wife and I had gone out about half an hour before. I think the guys had called a taxi, and while they were waiting they sat back down, and that must have been when [the man] decided to climb the light.

“It’s truly tragic. We’re devastated. We can’t stop thinking about the family.”

Police had not yet released the name of the victim, who had attended high school in the area before moving away.

Darwin always gets his mark.

It’s all shits and giggles until someone dies.

 

– Fairfax

 

 

 


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  • Damon Mudgway

    Very sad. Parents have lost a son. No matter how foolish his behaviour, those left behind are the ones who suffer most.

  • Wheninrome

    A choice was being made, the “accident” got in the way of the choice, percentage wise it was possibly weighted only one way.

  • AF

    A bit harsh if you are relying on MSM for the ‘facts’. Or are you going for schlock value again? Kids make mistakes, hardly worthy of a blog.

    • Hard1

      Did the MSM point out the fact that his mates didn’t stop him and are therefore culpable ?

      • AF

        You tell me….you seem to be the expert.

        • Hard1

          No the article didn’t point out that this death could easily have been prevented by one of his mates telling him not to climb the pole. Does that help ?.

          • AF

            I don’t read MSM so thanks for keeping me informed. You’re telling the story and taking it to a new place so tell me : do you think it helps?

    • papagaya

      Yep, heartily agree. Seems no lessons have been learned by whaleoil after last year’s West Coast death debacle.

      • AF

        Yep – you got what I was driving at. It seems to be taking others longer…

        • papagaya

          Some won’t get it at all. Look, there’s nothing mystical about karma. If you speak ill of the dead, especially with a megaphone, you will get your arse kicked. You’ll also find that your “supporters” dematerialise. Simple as that.

  • Euan Ross-Taylor

    So 20 less intoxicated people attended Rhythm and Vines; I’m sure the organisers were secretly pleased.

  • HSV325

    I’m sure we have all done things in the past where it could have ended in tragedy, I know I have. Just a decision that has turned into a tragedy for those left behind.

  • Lord Evans

    Although this is clearly a case of stupidity it’s also incredibly sad. Perhaps if there’s blame to be laid you might start by questioning the PC Brigade’s fixation on “Health & Safety’ in the school playground where risky behaviour is tested and learnt. Remove all risk and this is the type of results you can expect. How many times have we seen Youtube ‘fail’ clips depicting young people, often guys, doing equally foolish things and surviving? Young men in particular will continue to risk injury and death proving themselves as ‘fearless’ or ‘cool’ to their peers. They should have learnt all this by the age of 12.

    • Wheninrome

      Was it alcohol impaired judgment, or just the stupidity of youth. How old was he?
      Does this take us back to the debate on alcohol and the young?

  • Nirvana10

    I agree with the general sentiment that this is a very sad occurrence and that most of us have done very foolish things in our lives- particularly when we were young- and we were fortunate that the consequences were not as tragic as this. It is best not to point the figure in horrible situations like this but remember that ‘there but for the grace of God go I’. I would be devastated if I were the parent of this young fellow. A young life lost because of a foolish spur of the moment poor decision, I think.

    • Wheninrome

      You cannot live your life on the saying “there but for the grace of God go I”. Surely most people put more thought into their actions, and don’t rely on the “Grace of God” in their decision making processes to ensure that they come out Okay.

      • Nirvana10

        All parents would be able to look at this tragic situation and put themselves in the position of the grieving parents and say, ‘There but for the grace of God go I.’ Only someone with a total inability for empathy would have anything other than the greatest sympathy for both the boy and his parents. All young people do thoughtless and foolish things as times but fortunately for us they do not often end as tragically as they might.

  • jay

    This is a very mean post. Most men have done bloody stupid things in our youths that we were lucky, in hindsight, to survive. This young joker lucked out and lost his life, my heart goes out to his family. Coping with his senseless death will be an eternal heartbreak for them.

    This kind of post will be very hurtful to his family, and it does no-one any good to publish this kind of thing, especially not in such a small country.

    And it doesn’t qualify for a Darwin award anyway, since risk-taking is in a young man’s nature.

    • johcar

      “And it doesn’t qualify for a Darwin award anyway, since risk-taking is in a young man’s nature” – this is incorrect.

      From Wikipedia: “They recognize individuals who have supposedly contributed to human evolution by self-selecting themselves out of the gene pool via death or sterilization by their own actions.”

    • Nige.

      What part is mean? What part is hurtful?

      There is 5 very short sentences added and all of them truthful. What? are you offended by the truth?

      • papagaya

        If you’re so comfortable with those sentences, I assume you’d have no trouble saying them to the faces of the bereaved family members.

        • Nige.

          im not about to go picketing therir place. Its just a few home truths.

          • AF

            Nige : in a conversation with the parents would you have any issues calling their son stupid and that he is up for a Darwin award? Both are as per the title as well as the opening and closing comments added around the quoted article. Would you say it to the parents faces? I’m guessing not. So why do think it is ok to do it online? It is 100% insensitive and it’s no wonder this blog gets criticised at times. I would have thought WO would have had this bit figured out by now…..not going feral on dead people.

          • Nige.

            …i get it. youre OUTRAGED.

          • AF

            Not at all. They were very clear and simple statements and questions which appear to have made you uncomfortable. WO needs to think more before going feral on dead people if it wants to be taken seriously.

          • Nige.

            aw jeez man i dont know. what relevance is it? why do you think there is a set of rules which says that you shouldnt say on the internet what you wouldnt say to someones face? I never signed up to anything liker that. Its a bit like saying you should keep your opinion to yourself if it offends….even if its the truth.

            Im not uncomfortable at all. i think you are though. your uncomfortable enough to be repeating the same lines.

            I didnt write the original article and i didnt write the added sentences. I cant speak for blog other than to point out that it is an article by fairfax in the first place that Cam has rightfully added some truthful commentary to.

          • AF

            …in an extremely insensitive way, which you have supported. Whatever floats your boat man – if that’s how you want to be known then I’m not stopping you. Interesting that Cameron put up a more sensitive article on the same subject. Maybe he does want WO to be taken seriously instead of dancing on the graves of the dead.

  • Wheninrome

    At what age does a young man suddenly become sensible? He was 20 according to MSM. Old enough to drink, marry, go to war, vote etc.,
    On the premise that he was a young man doing something “bloody stupid”, what about 20 year olds voting, should their votes not be counted because they will have cast them in a stupid way?
    It follows we shouldn’t allow them to marry because they will make stupid decisions they will live to regret, let alone going on their personal little jihad.
    If the age of being silly is still 20 we need to look at what we allow these silly 20 year olds to do.

    • Rick H

      Was it not once upon a time the age of “21” before you could do any of those above-mentioned things?

  • Effluent

    I wouldn’t like to have to count the number of times I did equally stupid things as a teenager, and it minor miracle that I have survived to my present ripe age.

    Unfortunately, there aren’t so many opportunities now for younger boys to play the game of tomfoolery for lower stakes, at an earlier stage of life, so many of them now get turned loose with no prior experience of risk management as “adults” at the age of sixteen, with easy access to cheap booze, powerful cars, and minimal respect for others.

    In this case, the young man in question seems likely to have grown up eventually, and will clearly be missed by a wider family, but I think that even the less attractive (and let’s be honest about it, browner and poorer) young men who kill themselves in similar circumstances are members of wider communities, and will also be grieviously missed by many people.

    I also think this article is unnecessarily nasty.

    • Rod

      I think all the article is trying to point out is that if a person drinks and as a consequence does stupid things, tragedy is very likely to happen. The choice to imbibe was freely made, then as a result of the alcohol impaired judgement, something bad happened. Very seldom do such mishaps happen to sober people….

      • AF

        At this time we don’t know the blood alcohol level so I think it is premature to comment on that. Furthermore, there are plenty of sober people on YouTube making some very poor decisions….have a search for Parkour fails.

        • Richard

          This group had been on it for days leading up to this event.

      • Effluent

        Fair comment, but I should perhaps have included the point that much of my own tomfoolery was the direct result of drink-fuelled bravado, and anyone who has been a young man, or who knows a few of them will be aware that this is what many young men do; most of them go on (eventually) to grow up into decent adults, and their youthful stupidity is forgotten. In this case, it is a tragedy that will continue to blight the lives of many for an indefinite time.

        • You would probably have had friends with you saying “don’t be a dick” if your escapades got too life limiting, I know I did, these days all they seem do to get out the camera’s to see if they can record the event, Liveleak is full of them, people getting off the ground spitting teeth and and worse and all the “friends” are laughing their heads off, times have changed.

    • raumatirover

      I didn’t try and climb a 10 metre light..10 metres! Even boozed out of my mind I’d still think twice before doing that.

    • Sooo…the new rules are if someone is upset we can’t speak of it…riiight

      • Effluent

        No; I think the shocking stupidity of this particular young man’s actions speaks for itself, so that there is no need for more than a bare reporting of the facts.

        I do believe it is reasonable to show due consideration for the feelings of the deceased’s relatives, however idiotic the cause of the death, it is a tragic waste of a life.

        Having said this, I will admit to having laughed at some of the other instances of death and injury you have previously posted as candidates for a Darwin award, but I would say, on reflection, that I was wrong to do so.
        edit; sense/grammar

  • Eddie Nunns

    This Post might just help some people
    If a Parent sees this story and shows it to their children and those Young Adults think twice before doing a similar Act of stupidity then it will be worth it
    Thats how I taught my Son. Showing him photos of car crashes by inexperienced drivers who have had alcohol and speeding with mates in a stolen car at night. We discussed How feral some idiots can be. My Son always thinks twice
    Like suicide Lets not discuss it and it will go away as it is mean and nasty to talk about.
    If you don’t like this Post then do something about it

    • Nirvana10

      There’s the ‘feral’ word! For your sake I hope that your son never makes any mistakes in his life. He’ll be one of the rare saints that this world produces if he doesn’t. It sounds as though he has a pretty unforgiving and judgemental father.

      • Eddie Nunns

        Yeah Naw You seem to be hung up on the word (feral). I’m a single parent and my Son died 10 times before he was 8 months old due to a heart condition( that the tax payer forked out $250,000) If scare tactics keeps him alive longer then so be it I’m very forgiving as hes now 25 and still lives at home (my own) So I’m a softcock and very forgiving really And it is you that seems to have made Judgments.Just Saying dude

        • Dave

          Good on you Eddie. To
          add to your posts, a colleague had a wild child, who didn’t seem to take notice
          of common sense and limits imposed by his parents, so they arranged a night
          with a paramedic friend. After a briefing, he got to see the worst of
          his city, and ended up at A&E, (fortunately or unfortunately depending on
          how you look at it), a call came in of a Car V truck, and needless to say the
          scene was described as less than pleasant. It didn’t take long for him to
          be throwing up, and almost in need of assistance himself. I’m told
          that night changed him, after seeing the carnage of drunks, the results of a
          very serious accident, their wild child calmed down and actually thought before
          acting. Knowing this kid, it’s the one thing that probably kept him
          alive.

          • Rod

            And his parents had the foresight and the guts to set this up. Well done I say.

      • Nige.

        Whats wrong with the feral word? its a pretty accurate way of describing -some- people. Im sure EN wasnt referring to this particular chap as feral…but he certainly is right on the money insofar as to use an idiots demise as a learning lesson for his son. After all thats what evolution IS, right? Learning from other peoples failures. And you would have to say that climbing atop a light and not actually making the jump is (however tragic) a failure.

        • willtin

          Perhaps feral is the wrong word but the resulting carnage from idiotic actions deserves strong language.

  • Guest

    could have happened to anyone

  • Andy Brown

    It could have happened to anyone.

    • dgrogan

      Anyone intoxicated and stupid enough to try the stunt, you mean?

    • Nige.

      anyone who’s confidence out-weights their ability.

      • Alright

        Nige, our confidence always out-weighs our ability. It is the reason we get of bed.

    • Rod

      No, it couldn’t have happened to people who don’t climb poles.

    • Wheninrome

      Clouded judgment impaired by the imbibing of alcohol, obviously, sober I wonder.

  • Michael_l_c

    Tragic. You just hope your kids don’t do something similar.

  • Richard

    When you assess the scene of this incident, it is pretty clear that there was a high chance this would be the inevitable outcome.

    IMO there was only a 20% chance of the “stunt” being completed successfully…add in a few days worth of alcohol impairment and sadly this young man is no longer with us.

    • Rick H

      I’d go further.
      Even if he’d managed to land in the pool, he probably would have hit the bottom and knocked himself out and drowned anyway.

      • Richard

        He might have knocked himself out, but given he wasn’t there by himself I doubt he would have drowned.

  • Disinfectant

    Over millions of years animals climbed trees and then started jumping form tree to tree, and lo and behold eventually we had animals which could fly.
    By the time another 20 billion humans give it go, we might be able to fly.

  • Ginny

    My husband is a fireman. At 1.30 am NY morning, his pager went off. He raced off to the station to find that a girl was in a coma from excess alcohol. When the brigade arrived at the scene, they found the others still drinking. Fortunately someone was not too drunk to call for help.

    • Richard

      I thought firemen only responded to Flaming Sambuca call outs?

      • Ginny

        You would be surprised what they are called out for, and it’s not just fires :).

        • Nige.

          i have heard that in times of crisis you dont call the cops or the ambulance but call the firies instead. Makes sense really because byandlarge they are the ones who are unpaid and are in it for the heart and soul rather than the cash.

          • Imogen B

            Firemen are unpaid?
            Then what was New Zealand’s first citizen’s initiated referendum all about?

  • jude

    The article is in fact quite factual.
    Arguably, the headline may be seen as insensitive.
    However, the headline served its purpose.
    I read this article and skipped others, and discussed it with my husband.
    If this article is discussed and talked about with our kids, god forbid if there were a recurrence, the prankster would be physically stopped by his friends, I would hope!
    I do feel very sad that his family have suffered a loss through a silly error in judgement on their sons part.

    • Alright

      On the money Jude. I look back and think I’m lucky to be talking with you.

    • Richard

      Yep, parents and friends of this particular social group are already having conversations about looking out for your mates and telling them to pull their heads in if you should get the feeling of undue risk being taken.

      This young mans mates stood around filming the stunt instead of risking looking uncool in front of everyone and telling him not to go through with it….now all they have left is some grizzly iphone footage.

      • jude

        They will have nightmares about that for sometime. I hope the discussion is held by all those with kids and on social media too! The more widely discussed, the better !

      • AF

        Richard, you seem to be close to this story. Do you know his mates were filming it for a fact?

        • Richard

          yep, police took phones for copies of the footage.

    • spanishbride

      We use attention grabbing headlines for the same reason the MSM do.
      I am glad we have had the debate. That is what this Blog is here for.

      • AF

        There are however ways and means of getting people’s attention without being disrespectful. Does the feral West Coaster incident not come to mind? Or do you guys just not care and it is just about the page views?

      • Alright

        I ‘m not being willfully contrary here.

        But isn’t this blog above the standards set and followed by the MSM?

        I think it is and should be.

  • Alright

    A little more compassion is deserved here. He (at 20) made a mistake. He was not a criminal, and was (apparently) respected by his friends.He paid with his life. Is their a higher price? He’s now permanently dead. What would he say if alive? “I was stupid.”

    Now, answer me this: have you been, or are you (like me) still stupid?

    • Rod

      Dead people don’t derive much benefit from compassion.

      • Alright

        ….But compassion means we go to their funerals. Its about those left behind,

  • Wheninrome

    Perhaps his friends should have advised him not to be so stupid. I imagine they egged him on and they will live with the consequences of that.
    This is the reason we have sober drivers, perhaps a sober designated friend might have helped.

    • Alright

      Perhaps his friends should have. And maybe they egged him on. Or maybe they were just silent. You must have led a very sheltered life Wheninrome. Bad stuff happens, whatever and whoever is to blame.

      • Wheninrome

        I am well travelled and well read, I know “bad” stuff happens. Doesn’t mean we should not talk about it in a factual and matter of fact way in order that maybe someone in the future learns.
        His parents tragedy. Sad a young man ends his life this way.
        Trying to make it better by saying “there but for the grace of God go I” does absolutely nothing, might make you feel better but changes absolutely nothing.
        Think Roast Busters, they were young men, we condemned their behaviour, alcohol fuelled, their actions could have resulted in the death of a young girl.

        • Alright

          Well you were/are a lucky person.

          Note the word “lucky.”

          Why? Because no matter how much care and attention you give your children bad things can happen.

          If one of your “two fine young men” gets killed tomorrow because of a momentarily mistake should we all turn our heads and say that you (and they) don’t deserve sympathy?

          • Wheninrome

            I don’t believe the discussion is about being deserving of sympathy.
            It is more about the actions and consequences of alcohol fuelled behaviour or choice. It is not about luck and most certainly not about “God”.
            No one wants young people / or anyone to die tragically.

  • I_See_Crazy_People

    Teens have an expression they use – “YOLO” – you only live once. For some reason they use it to justify doing stupid, dangerous things. Of course they think they are bullet proof, as we all did at a similar age. I live by YOLO too – I know I’m only going to live once so I’m not going to do anything likely to shorten my existence. Perhaps we should introduce “YODO” – you only DIE once.

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